Live steam is steam under pressure, obtained by heating water in a boiler. The steam is used to operate moving equipment. A live steam machine or device is one powered by steam, but the term is reserved for those that are replicas, scale models, toys, or otherwise used for heritage, entertainment, or recreational purposes, to distinguish them from similar devices powered by electricity or some other more convenient method but designed to look as if they are steam-powered. Revenue-earning steam-powered machines such as mainline and narrow gauge steam locomotives and power-generating steam turbines are not referred to as "live steam". Steamrollers and traction engines are popular, in 1:4 or 1:3 scale, as are model stationary steam engines, ranging from pocket-size to 1:2 scale. Ridable, large-scale live steam railroading on a backyard railroad is a popular aspect of the live steam hobby, but it is time-consuming to build a locomotive from scratch and it can be costly to purchase one built. Garden railways, in smaller scales, offer the benefits of real steam engines, but do not provide the same experience as operating one's own locomotive in the larger scales and riding on it, while doing so.
One of the most famous live steam railroads was Walt Disney's Carolwood Pacific Railroad around his California home. The live steam hobby is popular in the UK, US, Australia. All over the world, there are hundreds of clubs and associations as well as many thousands of private backyard railroads; the world's largest live steam layout, with over 25 miles of 7 1⁄2 in trackage is Train Mountain Railroad in Chiloquin, Oregon. Other notable layouts are operated by the Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum and the Riverside Live Steamers. Although not technically live steam, the hobby embraces other scale model locomotives whose prototypes are diesel and electric. A few tracks restrict operation to only live steam engines, such as the Riverside Live Steamers mentioned above, but a visit to most tracks will reveal a mixture of locomotive types. A live steam locomotive is an exact, hand-crafted scale model. Live steam railroad scales are referred to by the number of inches of scale per foot. For example, a 1:8 scale locomotive will be referred to as a 1½" scale locomotive.
Common modelling scales are Gauge 1, 1/2", 3/4", 1", 1½", 2½" and 3". Track gauge refers to the distance between the rails; the ridable track gauges range from 2 1⁄2 in to 15 in, the most popular being 3 1⁄2", 4 3⁄4", 5", 7 1⁄4" and 7 1⁄2". Gauges from 10 in and up are called "Miniature Railways", are used in amusement park rides and commercial settings; the gauge has little to do with the scale of a locomotive since larger equipment can be built in a narrow gauge railway configuration. For instance, scales of 1.5, 1.6, 2.5, 3 inches per foot have been used on a 7 1⁄2 in track gauge. The accepted smallest gauge for a live steam locomotive is 45 mm Gauge 1, although O scale live steam models are common. Producing smaller-scale models remains problematic, as the laws of physics do not themselves scale: creating a small-scale boiler that produces useful quantities of steam requires careful engineering. Hornby Railways has produced commercial live steam-powered locomotives in OO scale by utilising an electrically heated boiler mounted in the tender, with cylinders in the locomotive, control provided by electrical- signals fed through the track from a remote control unit.
They are less mechanically realistic than models in larger scales. The locomotive is driven by steam, created on board the locomotive and is hence a genuine steam locomotive, it is technically possible to build smaller operating steam engines. Hand-made examples, as small as Z scale, with a gauge of only 6.5 mm, have been produced. These are fired with a butane flame from a burner in the engine's tender. AA Sherwood of Australia, an engineering lecturer, produced some miniature scale model live steam engines in the late 1960s and early 1970s, his smallest live steam engines were 1:240 scale, smaller than the 1:220 of Z Scale. The smallest scale Sherwood worked in was 1:480, though, not live steam. A wide variety of boiler designs are available, ranging from simple externally fired pot boilers to sophisticated multi-flue internally fired boilers and superheater boilers found only on larger, more complex models. For basic locomotive models, a simple valve gear can be used, with the reversing performed by a valve, or by using a "slip" eccentric.
More complex locomotive models can use valve gear similar to real steam machine with the reversing done mechanically, most the Walschaerts type. There are several common fuels used to boil water in live steam models: Hexamine fuel tablets – which produce little heat but are cheap and safe, they are used on "toy" live steam locomotives and engines, such as the newer models in the range produced by Mamod. Methylated spirit, – which burns hotter than solid fuel
Bassett-Lowke was a toy company in Northampton, founded by Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke in 1898 or 1899, that specialized in model railways and ships, construction sets. Bassett-Lowke started as a mail-order business, although it manufactured some items. Bassett-Lowke was a sales organization, contracting manufacturers such as Twining Models and Winteringham Ltd of Northampton; until World War I, the company carried models made by Bing and Märklin. Today the name Bassett-Lowke is associated with detailed model trains but the company had a long history of contracting skilled craftsmen to make scale military and civilian waterline ship models out of wood and wire. *Derick Head in his "Bassett-Lowke Waterline Ship Models", states that before and during World War One, there was such a demand for these hand-made waterline wooden ship models that the company had to contract with a "small metal casting company" to supply more waterline ship models to meet the demand. The name of the metal casting company referred to in Mr. Head's book was Brighton Manufacturing Company Ltd, 32 Great St Helens, England.
This metal casting company was within walking distance from the prominent glass display windows of the Bassett-Lowke shop located on High Holborn St. in London. The metal ship models supplied by this small company were referred to in the Bassett-Lowke sales literature as "B. M. C.". The collaboration between Bassett-Lowke and B. M. C. produced the first metal ship models in a uniform scale to each other made. These B. M. C. models were the forerunners of all the scale metal recognition models made by companies in years such as Tremo and Authenticast. The resulting model fleet in metal carried in the Bassett-Lowke catalog was of every class of ship in the British navy in commission as of 1914; the models found in the collection range from the early 1882 Royal Sovereign class Pre-Dreadnoughts, some of, retained by the navy as bombardment ships, through the newest Revenge class Super-Dreadnoughts which had just come into service. The 1917 Bassett-Lowke catalogue makes the claim that "Practically every ship in the Navy has been modeled, including Super-Dreadnoughts, Battle Cruisers, Armored Cruisers, Light Cruisers, Torpedo Boats, Mine Layers, Mine Sweepers, Transports, Armed Liners and all Auxiliary Craft".
The models were formed in lead with the wire masts cast into the hulls in a scale of one inch equals 150 feet or 1/1800. They were painted and issued in numbered boxed sets, paper flags supplied with each set to be cut out and applied to the masts and sternposts; every class of vessel was recognizable by the funnels and masts. While rudimentary by standards, the B. M. C. production of over 101 different castings was the first scale metal ship model fleet produced and established the precedent all subsequent scale metal recognition ship models. In addition to the ship models, B. M. C. produced a fort with movable guns, four lighthouses and a game featuring a large fold-out map of the Dardanelles channel showing forts and minefields. The game was supplied with fifteen metal ship models including two submarines; the B. M. C. Ship models appear for sale on internet auctions and at toy shows. Many times at these sales the B. M. C. models are found mixed with copies made by two companies. The B. M. C. models can be distinguished from the copies since only the B.
M. C. models have full-length wire masts cast into the hulls. The first type of copies are 26 models made by "Minifigs" These are cast in solid lead, have no wire masts and have large numbers inscribed on the bottom; the second type of copies comprise a group of four models made by Crescent which are cast in pot metal. They have numbers near the starboard stern numbering B.1, B.2, B.3, or B.4. Curiously, these pot-metal models retain the same numbering system, cast into the hulls of the four B. M. C models from which they were derived; these Crescent copies mimic the B. M. C. Castings of the B. I Duncan, B. II Swiftsure, B. III King Edward VII, the B. IV Lord Nelson, it is unknown when Bassett-Lowke ceased carrying the B. M. C metal ship models but the larger 1:1200 scale wood and wire ship models continued to be produced by Bassett-Lowke in both World War I and World War II; these larger wood and wire ship models in the scale of one inch equals 1200 inches or 1:1200, were sold commercially to the public and were used by the military for recognition and war gaming purpose.
Unlike the B. M. C. lead models, which are in 1/1800 scale and are obscure to most collectors, these larger wooden ship models are sought after and command a high price. Bassett-Lowke produced trains from 15-inch gauge live steam models to Gauge 1 and 0 gauge; the first 15-inch steam locomotive, test run on the Eaton Hall Railway in 1905, was Little Giant. Unlike other engines on the line, it was a replica of main-line locos, built for a public miniature railway at Blackpool, it was a quarter-scale 4-4-2 "Atlantic" tender engine, though not an exact copy of any particular prototype. That engine still exists in private ownership. In 1909, along with Henry Greenly, W. J. Bassett-Lowke edited Model Railways and Locomotives Magazine. In 1914, Bassett-Lowke produced the second "Pacific" 4-6-2 of any size built in Britain; that was John Anthony, built for a miniature railway at Cambridgeshire. It was never delivered, but after storage at Eaton Hall during World War I, was sold to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and renamed Colossus.
It was scrapped in 1927. Ravenglass and Eskdale had purchased the Sans Pareil. In the 1920s, Bassett-Lowke introduced 00 gauge product
Sevenoaks is a town and civil parish with a population of 29,506 situated south-east of London in western Kent, England. The population of the parish had reduced to 20,409 at the 2011 Census, it is served by a commuter main line railway into London. Sevenoaks is 21 miles from the traditional centre of London, it is the principal town of the Sevenoaks district, followed by Edenbridge. A settlement was recorded in the 13th century. Construction of Knole House in the 15th century helped develop the village. Sevenoaks became part of the modern communications network when one of the early turnpikes was opened in the 18th century. In the 21st century, it has a large commuting population, although the nearby Fort Halstead defence installation is a major local employer. Located to the south-east of the town is Knole Park, within which lies Knole House. Educational establishments in the town include the independent Sevenoaks Knole Academy; the town's name is derived from the Old English word "Seouenaca", the name given to a small chapel near seven oak trees on The Vine around AD 800.
In a book by K. Baedeker entitled, "Great Britain: England and Scotland as Far as Loch Maree and the Cromarty Firth" it is stated that Sevenoaks "is said to be a corruption of Chevenix" There are few records earlier than the 13th century for the town, when it was given market status; the weekly cattle market was held in Hitchen Hatch Lane until 1999. It was closed to make way for the "160 BT building" in London Road. A food market is held in the centre of town every Saturday. In the Middle Ages two hospitals were provided by religious orders for the care of old or sick people those going on pilgrimage. Sevenoaks School, at the south end of High Street, is one of the oldest lay foundations in England, it was founded by William Sevenoke in 1432. Sevenoke, a foundling, had been brought up in the town. In life he became a merchant and served as alderman and Mayor of London. Founding the school and adjacent almshouses was his thanks to the town. In 1560 the school was granted letters patent by Queen Elizabeth I and became known as'Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School'.
It was "for the education of boys and youths in grammar and learning". In 1456 Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, purchased the Knole estate and built Knole House; the mansion dominates the town. The eponymous oak trees in Knole Park have been replaced several times over the centuries. In 1902 seven oaks were planted on the north side of The Vine cricket ground to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII. During the Great Storm of 1987, six of those trees were blown down, their replacements, planted in a ceremony involving well-known people from television shows such as Blue Peter and locals such as Gloria Hunniford and Caron Keating, were vandalised, leaving the one mature tree standing. The trees have been replaced and eight Oak trees of varying ages line The Vine. A serious railway accident occurred nearby on 24 August 1927. Southern Railway K class passenger tank engine No. A800 River Cray was derailed hauling a Cannon Street to Deal express, knocking a road bridge and killing 13 passengers.
The locomotive crew survived. The entire K class was subsequently rebuilt to prevent such an event from occurring again; the accident called into question the quality of track laying in the area. Sevenoaks is governed by a town council with sixteen members; the town is divided into six wards: Kippington, Northern, St Johns, Town and Eastern. The offices of Sevenoaks District Council are located in the town; the town is situated at the junction of two main routes from the north before traffic climbs over the Greensand Ridge which crosses Kent from west to east. That road was one of the earliest in the county to be turnpiked in 1709, because of the clay soils; the valley to the north is that of the River Darent. Several lakes are located along the course of the river here, the result of the extraction of sand and gravel in the past; the built-up area of the town has developed along the main roads. The settlement of Riverhead to the north-west is the largest; the 2001 census counts 18,588 residents within the Sevenoaks civil parish authority, compared to its population in 1801 of 2,600.
The built-up area of the town had a population of 24,987 at the 2011 census. Sevenoaks, like much of West Kent, is characterised by high levels of economic activity and a skilled resident workforce. A large proportion of that workforce commutes elsewhere to their places of employment to central London; those factors have pressure on the local area to build yet more houses. Many of those houses attract high prices. A wide range of middle-class occupations are in short supply locally. Industries such as finance and business services tend to predominate. Transport links are very busy and town centre congestion is common at peak times; the main industrial area is located north of the town, alongside the A225. Sevenoaks Quarry is on Bat and Ball Road to the north; the shopping area in High Street includes the new Bligh's development. It is a typical small town centre, with one M&S Department Store having opened in 2014. Bligh's Shopping Development opened in phases in 2002; the site was a meadow, before becoming a bus station and car park.
Access can be gained from several directions including the High Street and London Roa
Edgar T. Westbury
Edgar T. Westbury was best known as a major contributor to the English recreational magazine Model Engineer, he contributed under his own name, under the pseudonyms'Artificer','Ned','Kinemette' and Exactus. Beginning in 1925 until his death in 1970, he made over 1474 authored contributions to Model Engineer under his real name; as Artificer, he wrote a further 135 articles from 1936 to 1970, on a range of topics including basic workshop skills and techniques, construction of a light vertical milling machine. Ned was the nom-de-plume for writing about workshop equipment, under which he wrote about 159 articles; as Kinemette came a further 67 contributions from 1936 to 1959, on making optical equipment including slide and film projectors, enlargers. These articles can be looked up via the Model Engineer Index, or online at Model Engineer Magazine - Database and Index of Published Articles. Westbury was born in 1896, he served in the Royal Navy during the latter part of the First World War. In the late 1920s he was an instructor in the RAF.
His "Atom Minor" engine of 1926 was the first of his to fly a model aeroplane in collaboration with Colonel C. E. Bowden breaking a new model flight endurance record, it broke a model hydroplane speed record in one of Bowden's boats. During World War Two, he developed a number of small petrol driven generators for use by the armed forces, he was editor of Model Engineer for a time, from 1966 was technical consultant under the magazine's new management with Martin Evans as editor. E. T. W. Died on 3 May 1970. A significant collection of Westbury's engines are held by the Society of Model and Experimental Engineers and are undergoing restoration by students of West Dean College, his era spanned what might be called the'late industrial period' in Britain, a time when Britain was in the throes of austerity and manufactured goods were expensive, mechanical skills were common, the only way to obtain extra luxuries was to make them yourself. His aptitude, the mechanical craftsman ethos he represented, was eulogised in the fictional character based on him in Nevil Shute's last novel, Trustee from the Toolroom.
His most enduring work was that on model internal combustion engines, with at least one commercial company, Hemingway Kits, still selling the castings with which to machine and build the various models he designed. He continues to have a strong following. There is a comprehensive'tribute page' for him at Model Engine News. Edgar Westbury wrote more than a dozen books, including: Small internal combustion engines: a practical handbook for the user of small gas, petrol or paraffin oil stationary engines. Percival Marshall, 1937. Modern optical projectors: a practical handbook on the principles and construction of optical projection appliances for the lecture room and workshop. Percival Marshall, 1937. Capstan and turret lathes: setting and operation. Percival Marshall, 1940. Automatic Lathes and Screw Machines: practical handbook on their mechanism and operation. Percival Marshall, 1940. A practical treatise on hot air engines. 1940. Grinding and honing: the application of abrasive processes to finishing surfaces...
Maidenhead, Berkshire, 1941. Lathe Accessories, how to make and use them: practical instructions for making numerous ingenious accessories for metal turning lathes. Percival Marshall, 1943. A. P. 1964. Model Petrol Engines: their design and use. Percival Marshall, 1947. Milling in the Lathe. Percival Marshall, 1948. A. P. 1973. Ignition Equipment. Percival Marshall, 1948. Flash steam: its application in model and full-size practice. Percival Marshall, 1949; the history of model power boats. Percival Marshall, 1950; the "M. E." lathe manual. Percival Marshall, 1951. Internal Combustion Engines; the Mechanical Age Library. London: Frederick Muller Ltd. 1959. Motor Cars Today. London: A. Barker, 1962. Turbines: steam and gas. Percival Marshall, 1964. Motor Car Engineering; the Young Engineer series. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967. Metal Turning Lathes: their design and operation. Hemel Hempstead: Model and Allied Publications Ltd. 1967. —. Building A Steam Engine From Castings. Model and Allied Publications. ISBN 085344062X.
—. Model Engineer's Lathe Manual. TEE Publishing. ISBN 1857610989. Model engineering
Ridable miniature railway
A ridable miniature railway is a large scale ground-level model railway that hauls passengers using locomotives that are models of full-sized railway locomotives. Miniature railways have a rail track gauge between 5 in and 18 in, though both larger and smaller gauges are used; these large model railroads are most seen in urban parks or in commercial settings, such as amusement park rides. At gauges of 5 in and less, the track is raised above ground level. Flat cars are arranged with foot boards; the track is multi-gauged, to accommodate 5 in, 3 1⁄2 in, sometimes 2 1⁄2 in gauge locomotives. Track can be portable in gauges as large as 5 in. Portable track is used to demonstrate locomotives at temporary events such as fêtes and summer fairs. Portable track can be either ground level. In the UK miniature lines are operated as public heritage railways, though many private lines exist in the USA. In Australia, most 5 inch gauge tracks are at ground level. Australian societies are members of the Australian Association of Live Steamers, which arranges Codes of Practice for Operations and Training, for the operation of miniature railways below 8 inch gauge through their subcommittee the Australian Live Steamers Safety Committee, Boiler codes for the operation of miniature steam boilers through the Australian Miniature Boiler Safety Committee.
The major distinction between a ridable miniature railway and a minimum-gauge railway is that miniature lines use models of full-sized prototypes. There are miniature railways that run on gauges as wide as 2 ft, for example the Wicksteed Park Railway. There are ridable miniature railways running on narrow track as small as 10 1⁄4 in gauge, for example the Rudyard Lake Steam Railway. Around the world there are several ridable miniature railways open to public using narrower gauges, such as 7 1⁄4 in and 7 1⁄2 in. Minimum-gauge railways have a working function as estate railways, or industrial railways, or providers of public transport links. Backyard railroad Children's railway Train ride Broggie, Walt Disney's Railroad Story: The Small-Scale Fascination That Led to a Full-Scale Kingdom, The Donning Company Publishers, ISBN 978-1-57864-914-3 Grand Scales Quarterly the US magazine of grand scale railroading Miniature Railway World Live Steam Tracks Britains Great Little Railways City of Oxford Society of Model Engineers 7¼ Inch Gauge Society http://www.pnmec.org.nz/meanz.php the Model Engineering Association of New Zealand
Model engineering is the pursuit of constructing proportionally-scaled working representations of full-sized machines in miniature. It is a branch of metalworking with a strong emphasis on artisanry. While now a hobby, in the past it had commercial and industrial purpose; the term'model engineering' was in use by 1888. In the United States, the term'home shop machinist' is used instead, although arguably the scope of this term is broader. Model engineering is most popular in the industrialised countries that have an engineering heritage extending back to the days of steam power; that is, it is a pursuit principally found in the UK, USA, northwestern European countries and the industrialised British Commonwealth countries. The'classic' areas of model engineering interest are live steam models, internal combustion engines, clock making. Other popular subjects are Stirling engines, workshop equipment, miniature machine tools and ornamental turning; these constitute stable genres which are reflected in competition categories at model engineering exhibitions.
In the past, amateur electrical experimentation and ship modelling were considered as part of model engineering, but these are no longer regarded as core genres. Model engineers make models by machining working parts from stock metal and metal castings; some models are intended as utilitarian working models, others as meticulous display models, or sometimes a combination of both. The most elaborate models involve hand manufacture of thousands of parts, taking thousands of hours to complete over a number of years or decades; the model engineer is guided by commercially available drawings, however some draw their own designs, or work without drawings. Most model engineers will buy castings when required, but some buy or make foundry equipment to cast metal themselves. Increasingly,'modern' technologies such as Computer aided design, cnc equipment, laser cutting, 3D printing and embedded systems are becoming part of the hobby as more and more of its practitioners have developed skills and familiarity with these techniques through their work, whilst younger people familiar with newer processes discover the potential of traditional machining, narrowing the gap between'model engineering' and'maker culture'.
As an activity that involves extensive use of metalwork machine tools in a home workshop-based context, model engineering overlaps with other artisanal machine-tool based and allied metalwork pursuits including gunsmithing, manufacture of home metalworking tools and accessories, home cnc equipment building, antique machine tool collecting, antique vehicle and machine restoration, home welding and hobby metalcasting. Model engineering is associated with the hobby of running live steam locomotives, overlaps to a degree with the making of non-working models those of mechanical subjects. Products such as Meccano and low-pressure toy steam engines have a loose affinity with model engineering, stemming from the production of scientific and mechanical toys beginning in the late 18th century. Steam Punk, a post-industrial sculptural art style picking up on the aesthetic and kinetic qualities of old machinery, shares some overlap. There is some debate about the appropriateness of the term'model engineering'.
Some argue that the term'engineer' should be reserved for those professionally qualified as such. However, the historic meaning of'engineer' is one who constructs or tends engines, as such is a fitting epithet for those who make working models as a hobby. In any case, since the term'model engineer' was employed by 1888, the precedent for its use has long been a fait accompli. Model live; as such they deserve special mention. Live steam refers to the use of pressurised steam, heated in the model locomotive's own boiler, to turn the wheels via miniature steam cylinders. Not all locomotives are live steam - some model engineers make model locomotives powered by electricity or internal combustion engines; the criteria however is that the model is self-propelled, hence requiring an engine to be made or motor to be installed, as opposed to the model trains that rely on an electrified track to run. Live steam locomotives are made in a range of scales, according to track gauge; the smaller gauges, sometimes called'garden gauges' because they can be set up in the owner's own garden, or in the US called a backyard railroad, are sufficient to run by themselves but cannot haul the driver or passengers.
The larger gauges are found on club tracks or miniature railways, are intended to haul the driver and passengers. Popular ` garden gauges' are' 0' gauge,' 2 1/2" gauge. Usual club track gauges are 3½", 5" and 7¼", 4¾" and 7½" in North America. Larger miniature railway gauges such as 10 1/4" and 15" gauge are more common in park settings. Various gauges have existed over time. 3½" and 5" gauge were proposed in 1898 as standard model gauges, although 5" gauge only became popular after the Second World War, along with 7¼" gauge. Not all model live. There are many live steam enthusiasts who prefer running the models on a track rather than spending long hours building them in a workshop, so purchase a ready made model locomotive; the aim of model engineering to build mechanical models is now purely recreational, although beginning with the industrial revolution in the late 18th ce
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K