The Murdoch Flyer Project has been started to rebuild the first 'horseless carriage', powered by steam and known as the 'Murdoch Flyer'.

The Murdoch Flyer, which was built originally by Murdoch in his spare time at his factory in John Budges foundry at Tuckingmill.

A lot of work has been done off their own bat by a group, affectionately known as The Murdoch Boys. They have worked long and hard, constructing some working models, but in order to build the full size machine more funding is crucial.

'The Ballad of William Murdoch' was written by Ed Hamilton after meeting and talking with the 'Murdoch Boys' (Summer 2002) when he was in Redruth visiting friends. The maxi-single is available from Rabbit Records (RABCDS 1) (See Below)

Rabbit Records and the Artist will donate a percentage from every copy sold, to The Murdoch Flyer Fund, but any direct donations should be made to :-

The Murdoch Flyer Project, 
Barclays Bank 
Account No: - 60589586
Sort Code: - 20-87-94

Record Orders to : - 

Rabbit Records,
1, Harrow Way, Charlton Village, Shepperton, Middlesex, TW 17 0RX.
Tel: - 01932 785853
Fax: -01932 786918

5-00 per copy plus 2-00 p and p

All other enquiries to Redruth Mayor : -
Keith Dinham : -01209 215498

'The Ballad of William Murdoch' will also be available on the forthcoming album 'Legends and Love Songs' scheduled to be released on Rabbit Records (RABCD15) in May 2005.

WILLIAM MURDOCH was born in Ayrshire , Scotland in 1754.
The son of a millwright and miller, he showed his engineering ingenuity at an early age when he built a wooden horse that he and his brothers 'rode' to school by means of propelling poles.

He is also said to have designed and built a bridge over the River Nith while still a teenager. He also invented an oval lathe, securing a job at the Boulton and Watt factory in Soho, Birmingham by impressing Boulton with a wooden top hat he'd turned on it. 

He spent time with them repairing and refining the steam engines of the day that the company had installed at various pits and factories, until he was sent to Cornwall as Boulton and Watt's agent, to try to make the steam engines more efficient at pumping water out of the mines. He managed to do this after some initial hostility.

Based in Redruth, he spent his spare time working on an idea for a 'horseless carriage' The Murdoch Flyer. In order to be able to see, his spare time being in the evening, he illuminated his house with a gas that he'd extracted from coal, also putting a lamp outside, thus making Cross Street the first street in the world to be lit by artificial light.

He built several working models of the 'Flyer', and it is said that he used to travel from mine to mine in a full sized version which had a portable gas light. 

He also came up with a substitute for Isinglass made from cod skins, an oscillating engine, creosote, coal-tar dyes, the D-slide valve, a sun and planet gear, cast- iron cement, stone and wood borers, the rotary steam wheel, the Bell Crank engine, a steam gun, a vacuum vent, (for transmitting letters and packages) a method of steam heating, an air pump, a machine for compressing peat moss for use as ornaments, a supercharger, and towards the end of his life he was working on a method to utilize tides and waterfall as a means of natural energy. He pre-dated the now more famous Victorian industrial pioneers,  though a hero in Cornwall, he has until now been largely forgotten in the country as a whole.

He is celebrated in Redruth on Murdoch Day, June 15th, or the nearest available weekend.

Click on the link below to see the 'Flyer' pulling 30 stone-Imperial measure.

Flyer-30st pull

Since the release of The Ballad of William Murdoch, the Murdoch Boys have now built a full working model of Murdoch's Wooden Horse. (See Below)