ASME-Landmark:Worthington Horizontal Cross-Compound Pumping


The York Water Company, the oldest investor-owned water company in Pennsylvania, began its operation in 1816 distributing spring water through log pipes. In 1849 it became clear that the town was outgrowing the spring capacity, and the Company decided to augment the supply by pumping water from the Codorus Creek. The new building demanded the installation of the latest equipment, a steam-powered pump. When a cleaner water supply was required and the old pumping station was abandoned, the new raw water pumping station was built near Brillhart in 1897.

At the Brillhart Station, water from the Codorus Creek is lifted through a 36-inch main and two 24-inch lines to the filter plant two miles away. The station's Pump No. 2, built in 1925, was a horizontal cross-compound pumping engine, smaller and cheaper than a triple-expansion vertical engine, which ran at relatively slow revolutions and was considered the height of engineering from the 1890s to World War I. The engine was built by the Worthington Pump & Machinery Corporation, Snow-Holly Works, Buffalo, New York.

Corliss steam engines, characterized by four cylindrical oscillating valves, each separately controlled by cut-off gear (1849), drove many types of machinery and enjoyed great commercial success throughout the world well into the twentieth century. The highly efficient steam distribution system was conceived by George H. Corliss (1817-1888) of Providence, Rhode Island.

Steam pumps serviced Brillhart Station until 1956, when they were replaced by electric pumps. See ASME website for more information