1772 John Whitehurst discovered the principles
of the RAM and produced a machine to work in a brewery
at Oulton, Cheshire, to raise water to upper floors
of the building. It was not, however, entirely satisfactory
as a small boy had to be employed to open and close a
tap. It was in use for over 15 years, though, one hopes,
not with the same operator!
Montgolfier, in 1798, invented the first
automatic pulse valve, thus making the RAM a commercial
reality. Both he and his brother were prolific inventors
but are today remembered best for the 'hot air' balloon.
although a great inventor, did not possess the skills
to actively market the machine or make it of practical
fell to our forebear, Josiah Easton, who was a great
engineer at the start of the 19th Century and something
of a polymath, being responsible for not only water
supplies but construction of the original channel tunnel,
draining of the fens, highway engineering and much else
besides (see obituary).
1820 at Sunninghill, Berkshire, this Josiah
Easton purchased the Montgolfier pattern (these
original patent documents are still in our archives
- click here). They also purchased the business
of John Whitehurst. Over the years, Josiah Easton
and his son, James installed water schemes for
many of the landed estates of the day, and many of those
RAMs are still in use today.
of Mr. James Easton - Click
firm of Green & Carter occupied an iron foundry
at Kingsworthy, Winchester, and had for many
years manufactured and supplied RAMs throughout the
world. In 1928 they acquired James Easton's business
and have remained to this day exclusively producing
the 'Vulcan' RAM, incorporating all the modern
features, and yet they can supply parts for all their
RAMs produced over the years no matter how old.
of the most fascinating aspects of the business is the
lucky chance that has resulted in the preservation of
our unique archives. We have all our records
going back to 1774 and from about 1860 onwards we have
every letter ever written or received by the company.
Such letters include correspondence from many notable
personages, too numerous to list in detail but which
include significant personages in almost every walk
of life (politics, the military, music, the arts, the
landed gentry, engineering and technology). We also
have extensive libraries of period trade catalogues,
some of which are unrelated to the water industry such
as bicycles, lawnmowers, stationary engines etc.
have thousands of estate plans and plans of RAM installations
both in the United Kingdom and overseas. This archive
is available for perusal by serious students for research
purposes. They also provide a valuable reference library
for many estate owners, farmers and stately homes who
have been able to make use of the records for the repair
and incorporation of the original systems into modern
The hydraulic RAM was referred to by Ewbank in
his classic treaties known as 'Ewbank's Hydraulics'
in 1840 as one of the most significant inventions
in the history of civilisation.
RAM has more than stood the test of time. Many over
100 years old are still in use, and it remains one of
the few really practical and efficient uses of natural
energy today: It is cheap to purchase, will last indefinitely
and with no moving metal parts is simplicity itself
requiring the minimum of maintenance.
the two essentials are provided by the landowner - a
supply of water (i.e. a spring or stream, as little
as 1 gallon per minute will suffice) and the ability
to provide a 'fall' for that water - the RAM itself
can reduce or even eliminate those costly water bills.
do not be mislead into thinking that RAMs are a 'museum
technology' or that Green & Carter occupies a dusty
place in history. We are selling and installing considerably
more RAMs than we were 100 years ago and they are the
leading edge of water installation technology in these
days of high water costs, environmental awareness and
the appreciation that traditional methods are often