Diesel engine, sectioned stationary vertical single cylinder, cast iron / steel, Ronaldson Bros & Tippet Pty Ltd, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, 1948
The engine was made by Ronaldson Brothers & Tippett, a major Australian manufacturer of small stationary engines and agricultural machinery that operated from 1905 until 1972. Ronaldson Tippett's rugged, reliable petrol and diesel engines were widely used on Australian farms, and many can now be seen at antique machinery shows. The company made engines for the Australian Army during World War 2, and after the war enjoyed some export success.
This engine was sectioned, by or for the manufacturer, to reveal its internal working parts. This made it particularly useful as an educational exhibit.
Debbie Rudder, Curator, and Noel Svensson, Powerhouse Volunteer, 2013.
The engine was probably manufactured in 1948 by Ronaldson Bros and Tippett Pty Ltd in Ballarat, Victoria and sectioned by the company for educational purposes.
Brothers Dave and Adam Ronaldson formed a partnership with Herbert John Tippett (usually known as John) in 1905 to manufacture internal combustion engines under the name Ronaldson Bros and Tippett Pty Ltd. The company's first product line was the Austral Oil Engine. In 1927 it began the manufacture of diesel engines, but this venture was threatened by the onset of the depression. Recovery was aided by a defence contract in 1932 to generate power in Darwin, and the company continued to make defence equipment during World War 2.
The firm became a public company in 1948 but failed on the stock exchange in 1970. The Merbank Corporation purchased it in January 1971, and the last RonTip engine was made in 1972. Merbank was taken over by Shannons Ltd in September 1981, which in turn was taken over by Multi Food Corporation in February 1989. The latter firm was liquidated in July 1990.
For some years Ronaldson & Tippett was the largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines and agricultural machinery in the Southern Hemisphere. In September 2004, when the Ballarat Engine and Machinery Preservation Society Inc held the Ronaldson & Tippett Centenary Rally to commemorate the manufacture of the first engine, a total of 616 Ronaldson & Tippett products were on show, including 40 diesel engines.
The Old Machinery Magazine October 2004