Stationary Engines are often overlooked compared with more impressive exhibits.
The smaller examples at Sandstone have their own dedicated Museum situated in the main complex and set up from scratch by volunteer Curator, Danie Pretorius and his energetic team. They have brought together all the stationary engines previously stored in various locations at Sandstone. Pride of the collection however is the National Engine, situated away from the main Stationary Engine Museum, at the Waenhuis. It drives the original generator system that supplied electricity to Hoekfontein Farm. Few visitors fail to notice the distinctive thump-thump from its exhaust when it is running.
Stationary engines have been the backbone of rural existence since the early 1900s, powering water pumps, generators and numerous other pieces of equipment and machinery requiring an independent power source, prior to the general availability of electricity.
The preservation and restoration of stationary engines is a worldwide activity and leads to much exchange of information between enthusiasts, the Sandstone team is no exception.