Archimedes Screw Pump Redesignated as an ASME Landmark


Nov. 4, 2016


The Archimedes Screw Pump in Hayward, Calif., is one of the oldest surviving examples of the wind-driven Archimedes screw pump in the United States.

The wind-powered Archimedes Screw Pump of the San Francisco Bay, a nearly 200-year old invention that enabled the local production of salt in the San Francisco area, was recently redesignated as an ASME landmark at a ceremony in Hayward, Calif.

The Archimedes pump was originally designated as a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by ASME in 1984. Approximately 60 people attended the redesignation ceremony, which took place at the pump’s current location roughly three-quarters of a mile from the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center in Hayward, Calif. The redesignation, supported by the ASME San Francisco Section, marked the presentation of the pump’s original landmark plaque, which was refinished to restore its original patina, and celebrate the screw pump’s relocation from its former site, the Cargill Salt Co. (formerly the Leslie Salt Refining Co.) in Newark, Calif.


ASME Past President Terry E. Shoup, Ph.D., P.E., was one of the speakers at the redesignation ceremony on Oct. 21. Dr. Shoup served as the Society’s 125th president in 2006-2007.

The pump in Hayward is one of the oldest surviving examples of the wind-driven Archimedes Screw Pump in the United States. The device, which moves water from low to higher ground, was originally designed and built by Andrew Oliver in the 1870s. It was used for more than a century in the San Francisco Bay area for harvesting salt through the process of solar evaporation, where brine from one salt concentrating pond was shifted to another pond of higher salinity.

The landmark ceremony was attended by several representatives from ASME, including Past President Dr. Terry E. Shoup, P.E.; Robert O. Woods, P.E., of the ASME History and Heritage Committee; and Lynden F. Davis, P.E., and Eric Worrell from the ASME San Francisco Section. Also participating in the event were Don Holmqvist, the former pond superintendent at Leslie who was responsible for restoring the Archimedes pump in 1978; Minane Jameson, president of the Hayward Area Recreation Park and District; Sara Lamnin, member of the Hayward City Council; and A.T. Stephens, executive director of the Hayward Area Historical Society.


The refinished original landmark plaque for the Archimedes pump was unveiled during the landmark ceremony.