Kilroy Stoking Indicator

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Kilroy's Stoking Indicator, c. 1908
As shown in Torpedo Drill Book, 1908.

Kilroy's Stoking Indicator was an instrument invented by Willie Dickson Kilroy for use in the stokehold to guide stokers in firing the boilers evenly by sounding a gong and indicating the numbered furnace door to stoke. The regulator which established the cyclical stoking tempo was mounted in the engine room. Both were powered by the lighting circuits.

It was installed in Implacable and Hogue in 1903-04 and found to work well.[1]

The regulator had a rheostat that could set the cycle interval anywhere from 3 to 12 minutes for the entire stokehold series. For instance, if there were 2 banks of 8 stokeholds and the rheostat was set for an 8 minute cycle, the gong would ring every 30 seconds and the number indicated would increment up from 1 to 16. Thus, in 8 minutes, each stokehold would be fed coal once before the cycle repeated.

It appears likely that the system appeared around 1905, in which year it was reported to give good results, although the gong was not loud enough.[2]

See Also


  1. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1904. p. 97.
  2. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1905. p. 71.


  • H.M.S.O., London Torpedo Drill Book, 1905 (Corrected to December, 1904). Copy in Tony Lovell's library.
  • H.M.S.O., London Torpedo Drill Book, 1908 (Corrected to December, 1907). Copy in Tony Lovell's library.