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Fowler’s Patent Model of a Furnace Steam Boiler - ca 1856

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 15,803 issued to David H. Fowler of New Orleans, Louisiana on September 30, 1856. Mr. Fowler’s patent was for a new design for a boiler with both internal and external flues . The goal of the two flues was to increase the amount of boiler surface area exposed to the hot combustion gases from the furnace. His design called for a central boiler that was mounted above the furnace. The three supporting legs for the boiler surrounded the furnace and were tubes that allowed the introduction of water into the boiler via the legs. The internal flue passed through the center of the boiler and was surrounded by the water. Combustion gases flowed upward through this flue, transferring heat to the water. The external flue was implemented via a four inch space between the boiler’s side and the surrounding brickwork. This space ran around the entire circumference of the boiler. This allowed a portion of hot combustion gases to also heat the external wall of the boiler, significantly increasing the surface area of boiler metal being exposed to the gases. The external flue was capped at the top of the brickwork, and horizontal openings were provided at regular intervals around the circumference which communicated with the external flue. The chimney was located above the external flue, and a separate pipe connected the internal flue to the external. In 1861 Mr. Fowler advertised as a Steam Boiler Manufacturer in New Orleans. Research of available trade literature and other sources has not revealed any additional commercial use that may have made use of Mr. Fowler’s invention.

The patent model is constructed of unpainted tinplate. It illustrates the central boiler and its internal and external flues as well as the brickwork surrounding the boiler. The aperture at the top for the external flue is present. The furnace door is modelled as are example apertures in the brickwork for ashes to be removed from the external flue. At the bottom of the boiler a single valve or cock for the introduction of water into the boiler via its three supporting legs is modelled. Diagrams showing the complete design can be found in the patent document online and are helpful in terms of understanding the orientation of the boiler and the surrounding brickwork (/www.USPTO.gov/patents/process/search/index.jsp).

Kelly and Lamb’s Patent Model of a Steam Engine Governor – ca 1865

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 46,111 issued to Oliver A. Kelly and Estus Lamb of Slatersville, Rhode Island on January 31, 1865. The patent was for an improvement in controlling the speed of a steam engine by use of a fly ball governor.

Kelly and Lamb claimed their design reduced violent fluctuations in the amount of steam admitted to the cylinder due to sudden, large increases or decreases in the load on the engine. The design was based on a standard fly-ball governor which was used to sense if the engine's speed deviated from its desired speed. However, instead of using the motion of the fly-balls themselves to adjust the steam valve, they used an escapement that rotated a screw-thread which was linked to the steam valve. The escapement was rotated by a rocker arm attached to a crank operated from the main shaft of the governor. When the escapement was activated, each rotation of the governor shaft would cause a small increase or decrease in the travel of the screw-thread and thus a small adjustment to the steam valve. The escapement would continue to adjust the engine's speed until the fly-balls once again attained their preset speed at which time the escapement would be neutralized. A search of available literature did not reveal any practical use of the Kelly Lamb governor.

The patent model is constructed of cast iron and steel. All of the key elements of the patent are illustrated by the model to include the escarpment mechanism. Diagrams showing the complete design of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, /www.uspto.gov.

Bodemer’s Patent Model of an Indirect-Acting Governor – 1876

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 176,591 issued to Johann Georg Bodemer of Zschopau, Saxony, Germany on April 25, 1876. The patent was for a speed governor capable of reducing to a minimum variations in the speed of a hydraulic turbine. The patent model as seen in the image is an exquisitely detailed example of the model-maker’s art. The design itself represents great mechanical ingenuity, perhaps at the expense of practicality of use.

The patent design was based on a loaded fly ball which can be seen at the top of the image of the model. Loaded fly ball type sensors had the advantage of quickly responding to small changes in speed. The patent claimed innovation was a regulator mechanism that would be disengaged while the speed was at the desired point. The regulator would be put into action immediately upon the loaded fly balls sensing small speed deviations and would remain in action until the governor sensed speed returning to normal. At that time, the regulator would again be disengaged and stay disengaged, assuming the machine would reach steady state at the desired speed. If it did not, the regulator would again be engaged in the proper direction to make additional corrections.

A governor of the Bodemer design was shown at the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876. A Simplified version was used to regulate the turbines of the inventor’s own plant.

The patent model is constructed of brass, steel and wood. A small brass plate on the base is marked “Modell von Bock & Handrick Dressden 550.”All of the key elements of the patent are illustrated by the model. It includes a small hand crank to permit demonstration of actual operation. A full description of the operation of the governor along with complete diagrams of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, /www.uspto.gov.

Babcock and Wilcox’s Patent Model of a Steam Generator – ca 1867

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 65,042 issued to George H. Babcock and Stephen Wilcox, Jr. of Providence, Rhode Island on May 28, 1867. The patent was for an improved design for steam generators, or boilers. The design is for a boiler in which the water being converted to steam is held in a number of small compartments rather than in one large mass.

The inventors claimed this had the advantage of greater economy in construction because the lower expansive forces allowed use of cast iron. They also claimed increased safety in that a failure in one of the sections would result in less destructive force, increased efficiency in heating the large surface areas, and easier removal of deposits within the tubes.

As can be seen in the image of the model, the boiler consists of a nest of horizontal tubes which serve as a steam and water reservoir above and connected to a second next of inclined tubes normally filled with water. The tubes in both nests are arranged in vertical rows with each row being connected by end tubes. Each vertical row forms a section of the boiler. The fire grate is the inclined plane at the lower right corner of the model. Combustion gases would travel up and through the tube sections and out via the flue at the upper right.

The inventors established Babcock, Wilcox & Company in 1867 to manufacture water tube boilers based on this inclined tube design. The company continues in business as of 2016.

The patent model is constructed of wood. A full description of the operation of the boiler along with complete diagrams of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, /www.uspto.gov.

Pitts’ and Gluyas’ Patent Model of a Steam Condenser – ca 1872

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 131,779 issued to Washington R. Pitts and George K. Gluyas of San Francisco, California, on October 1, 1872. The claim of the inventors was a new design for an improved high pressure condenser for a steam engine. The purpose was for the steam exhausted from the engine’s cylinder to be passed through the condenser and be converted back to water and returned to the boiler for reuse.

The condenser design was intended for use on side-wheel steam boats. It would be located behind the paddle wheel where the water splashed up by the wheel would pass over the condenser and in the process cool the hot steam inside the condenser. The condenser consisted of a series of tubes passing between chambers at each end as shown in the image. Steam entered the condenser via an opening at the bottom left (not shown) and any remaining steam could be exhausted via the outlet pipe shown at the bottom right. This outlet had a valve that would cover it in normal operation since the goal was to have the steam converted to water prior to exiting. However, the engineer could open the valve as needed in operation to reduce any undue buildup of steam pressure within the condenser. The condense water exited via a series of tubes not shown at the back of the picture.

Note, that the condenser was intended to be mounted with the steam exhaust up and to the right and the condense water outlet pipes on the bottom. The chambers at each end of the condenser were divided into compartments to cause the steam to travel back and forth two times prior to reaching the exhaust. The compartments were of decreasing volume with fewer tubes contained within them (seven rows of tubes in the first diminishing to four in the last) as can be seen by the grouping and gaps between tubes in the image. The intent was to balance the amount of condense water collected throughout the condenser.

To control the flow of condense water and prevent steam pressure from blocking it, Pitts and Gluyas provided metal flanges over each of five exit holes for the water. The inventors did not claim as new the tubing, chambers and valves. Their claim was based primarily on two details. The first was division of the chambers at each into compartments having diminishing volumes. The second was the inclusion of the covers over the outlet pipes. Research of available trade literature and other sources has not revealed any commercial product that may have made use of this invention.

The patent model is constructed of brass. The end plate is inscribed “Wash’n R. Pitts and Geo. K. Gluyas, San Fran’co.” The key features of the invention are illustrated by the model to include the end chambers, tubing, condense water outlet pipes, steam inlet, and the steam outlet with rubber valve. Diagrams showing the complete design can be found in the patent document online at /www.uspto.gov.

Crawford’s Patent Model of Steam Boiler Furnace– ca 1849

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 7,051 issued to Benjamin Crawford of Allegheny, Pennsylvania on January 29, 1850. The patent was for improvements in air heaters and steam blowers for a steam boiler furnace. Boilers of this type were commonly used on river steamboats. The model represents a pair of boilers located side by side and seen as the two parallel, horizontal cylinders on the same level. The ash pit doors, firebox doors, flues and chimneys are shown at the end. One of the key elements of Crawford's patent was a combustion air heater in the form of a heat exchanger that passed incoming air through pipes surrounded by hot steam from the exhaust of the engine. This is seen as the smaller horizontal cylinder located between and above the boilers. The heated air was channeled through pipes leading down to the ash pits. The routing of these pipes was through the flues of the boilers, and this added considerably to the temperature of the air. To increase the velocity of this air, Crawford's design fed steam under pressure into the ends of these pipes. The design additionally improved efficiency of combustion by introducing jets of pressurized steam into the fire boxes and chimneys. The steam was conducted via another set of pipes. At the ends of these pipes were fixed nozzles that rotated as a result of the steam pressure. Crawford claimed these increased the mixing of combustion gases in the firebox and increased ability of the gases passing up the chimney to provide a strong draft through the boiler furnace.

The patent model is constructed of sheet metal. The key elements of the patent are illustrated in the model to include the various pipes conducting air and steam into the ash pit, combustion chamber, and flues. Doors give access to the ash pits and combustion chambers. Diagrams showing the complete design of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, /www.uspto.gov.

Wiegand’s Patent Model of a Gas Engine – ca 1864

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 44,572 issued to S. Lloyd Wiegand of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 4, 1864. Mr. Wiegand’s patent was for improvements in gas engines. Claimed improvements included: protection against the buildup of carbon deposits on the piston and cylinder; more accurate and fuel-efficient speed control; and a lower cost and higher durability construction.

Mr. Wiegand’s engine was designed to use “illuminating gas” which was a coal based product used for gas lighting. Due to inefficiency in combining the gas and air, carbon deposits were left on the surfaces of the combustion chambers. This damaged the seals between the cylinders and pistons resulting in leakage and reduced power. The patent called for a fluid to be injected into the cylinders via channels near the seals. The fluid would loosen and eject the carbon through the exhaust.

To improve the speed regulation and fuel-efficiency of the engine, Mr. Wiegand varied the timing of the intake valves. A shaft governor was included in one of the engine’s two flywheels, and this was coupled to a mechanism that adjusted the angle of the cam which opened and closed the valve. If the engine exceeded its desired speed, the cam adjustment would shorten the time the intake valve was open. The reduction in the amount of fuel entering the engine soon slowed it.

A search of available literature did not reveal any practical use of the patent. Shortly after Mr. Wiegand’s patent, N. A. Otto and others patented advances in gas engine such as compressing the fuel-air mixture prior to combustion and the introduction of the four stroke engine design.

The model as shown in the image illustrates all of the key elements of the patent except for the internal details of the valves and cylinders. It is constructed of metal. Diagrams showing the complete design can be found in the patent document online (/www.USPTO.gov).

Allen’s Patent Model of Cut-Off Valve for Steam Engines – ca 1841

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 2,227 issued to Horatio Allen of New York, New York on August 21, 1841. The patent was for an improved design for the mechanism controlling the inlet valve of a steam engine. Allen’s design provided a means of adjusting the point in the power stroke of the engine’s piston at which high pressure steam being fed to the cylinder was cut off. This was desirable as power was extracted from the expansive force of the steam after the valve closed. This saved fuel by avoiding continuous use of high pressure steam.

The image of the model shows a cross section of the steam cylinder at the right with the piston rod and connecting rod extending to the left to the crankshaft. The steam inlet valve is shown above the cylinder and is of the slide valve type. It is operated by a shaft eccentric mounted on the crankshaft. In the model, the valve is made of wood and slides back and forth to admit steam to each side of the piston. The cut-off is the separate brass slide valve above the main valve. It is operated by its own eccentric, and the range of its travel is controlled by the brass hand crank and gears. Turning the crank thus allowed the point of steam cut-off to be varied as required.

Allen’s design in this patent was soon improved by himself and others to allow for a simpler mechanism that did not require the separate slide valve for cut-off.

The patent model is constructed of brass and wood. All of the key elements of the patent are illustrated by the model. It includes a small hand crank to permit demonstration of actual operation. A full description of the operation of the valve gear along with complete diagrams of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, /www.uspto.gov.

Lawler's Patent Model of a Hot Water Heater - 1877

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 189,314 issued to Edward Lawler of Hartford, Connecticut on April 10, 1877. Mr. Lawler’s patent was for an improved water heater which would be fed from the normal water mains and which would have the ability to maintain a ready to use reservoir of hot water. He specifically noted its potential use in shops where hot drinks such as coffee were served. His design consisted of two cylindrical tanks made of cast iron. The hot water reservoir, the taller of the two tanks, was mounted on three legs elevating it over the shorter boiler and heating chamber located alongside it. Cold water from the mains entered via a pipe extending from the top of the reservoir to near the bottom. Hot water exited the reservoir through a hole and pipe at the very top. The boiler was connected to the reservoir via two pipes. The lower pipe received cold water from the bottom of the reservoir, and the upper pipe passed hot water into the reservoir where it entered well above the bottom of the pipe supplying cold water from the mains. The hot water, being of lesser density (specific gravity) than the cold, would rise to the top of the reservoir to be ready for dispensing. As hot water was drawn off for use, cold water would enter at the bottom to again fill the reservoir and pass into the boiler to be heated. Mr. Lawler’s design called for the boiler to sit atop a heating chamber of the same diameter which could be heated by gas or other fuels. Research of available trade literature and other sources has not revealed any commercial use that may have made use of Mr. Lawler’s invention.

The patent model is constructed of copper. The reservoir and boiler are modelled along with the pipes interconnecting them as described in the patent. The cold and hot water connections are present at the top of the reservoir. Also shown at the bottom of the reservoir is a pipe that could be used for draining the system for cleaning. In its present condition the model does not include the heating chamber; however, the bottom of the boiler does model the flange described in the patent whereby the boiler would be secured atop the heating chamber. Diagrams showing the complete design can be found in the patent document online (/www.USPTO.gov/patents/process/search/index.jsp).

Adam’s Patent Model of a Stove Drum - ca 1868

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 85,196 issued to John Adams of Findlay, Ohio on December 22, 1868. His patent was for a new and improved design for a Stove-Drum . A stove drum was the element of a heater or furnace which heated air via contact with a large, hot metal surface. It would be located between the combustion chamber of the stove and the chimney. Mr. Adam’s design consisted of two truncated cones interconnected by flues. The lower cone was the entry point for the hot combustion gases and had an inner truncated cone which included a damper at its bottom. With the damper open the hot gases would travel directly upwards through a pipe that ran through the middle of the lower and upper cones and thence to the chimney. This resulted in the minimal amount of metal surfaces being exposed to the gases and thus the least heat being provided to the room. It also allowed a more direct draft for lighting the fire. With the damper closed the hot gases flowed in the volume between the inside and outside lower cones. A plate at the top of these cones allowed the gases to flow into the five flues that interconnected the upper and lower cones. A key element of Adam’s patent was the division of each flue into two halves via vertical partitions. After coming up through the lower cones, the gases entered the outer compartment of the flues where it then entered the upper cone and heated its outside surface. The gases would then flow back downwards through the inner compartment of the flues and into the inner lower cone which communicated with the chimney via the vertical pipe previously mentioned. With the damper closed the entirety of the surface of the stove-drum would be heated by the combustion gases, and this provided the maximum heating for the room. Research of available trade literature and other sources has not revealed any commercial product that may have made use of this invention by Mr. Adams. He did have one additional patent for a furnace which appears to be based in part on the principles of this stove-drum patent.

The model is constructed of unpainted tinplate and represented the key elements of Adam’s patent. The upper and lower truncated cones are shown as are the interconnecting flues, the inner lower cone, and the damper. Diagrams showing the complete design can be found in the patent document online (/www.USPTO.gov/patents/process/search/index.jsp).

Corliss' Patent Model of a Steam Engine Cut-Off Valve – ca 1859

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 24,618 issued to George H. Corliss of Providence, Rhode Island on July 5, 1859. The patent was for an improved cut-off valve gear for steam engines. With this patent Corliss was seeking to improve the ability of the gear to operate at higher speeds than were possible with his earlier patent for a similar device. The patent represents the first valve gear to combine all the elements of what would become known as the typical, and very popular, Corliss engine. These include a detachable inlet valve link, variable timing wedge, a spring for closing the inlet valve, a dash pot to prevent jarring in closing the valves, and rotating valves.

Corliss' design provided a means of adjusting the point in the power stroke of the engine’s piston at which high pressure steam being fed to the cylinder was cut off. This was desirable as power was extracted from the expansive force of the steam after the valve closed. This saved fuel by avoiding continuing use of high pressure steam.

A primary feature of the patent is the mechanism shown at the top of the image of the model. It is the small steel piece of metal with a hook at its right end which engages a similar hook on the steam inlet valve stem extending to the right. The two hooks remain engaged by spring pressure until the valve stem is moved to the point that the inclined brass plate at the left overcomes the spring tension. The brass plate is moved laterally to change the point at which the toe and tooth disengage. As soon as they disengage another spring forces the inlet valve stem to close the valve.

Corliss was a prolific inventor of steam technology in the middle 1800s and was the founder of the Corliss Steam Engine Company. His engines were used worldwide, and his designs were adopted by other engine manufacturers.

The patent model is constructed of brass and mahogany. All of the key elements of the patent are illustrated by the model. In the image of the back of the model can be seen a hand crank for demonstrating operation of the valves which are also shown. Diagrams showing the complete design of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, /www.uspto.gov.

Mauzey’s Patent Model of a Solar Heater – 1880

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 227,028 issued to James P. Mauzey of Blackfoot, Montana Territory on April 27, 1880. His patent was for a new and improved solar heater. Mr. Mauzey’s design provided for a series of reflecting mirrors mounted on a rectangular frame which could be oriented so as to focus the sun’s rays upon an object to be heated. The image of the patent model shows the frame and mirrors. The frame would be oriented to point the central, oval shaped mirror directly at the sun. This mirror was shaped and oriented so as to focus the sun’s rays along a line at some distance behind the mirror frame assembly. Additional mirror elements were mounted within the frame as shown, and these too were designed to focus energy at the same distance behind the frame. The brown colored rod and material at the top of the frame modeled a curtain which could be rolled across the frame to block the mirrors as necessary for repair or adjustment. The frame assembly shown in the image was intended to be mounted on a supporting base which could be used to tilt the frame up or down to track the sun’s position in the sky. The base was in turn mounted on wheels or rollers to allow additional adjustments to track the sun. The object to be heated would be located on the base at the focal point of the mirrors. Additionally, the mirror assembly could be moved up or down relative to the base allowing for an accurate focus on the object to be heated. Diagrams showing the complete design of the heater can be found in the patent document online /www.USPTO.gov/patents/process/search/index.jsp). Research of available trade literature and other sources has not revealed any commercial use that may have made use of Mr. Mauzey’s invention. His work was mentioned by Charles H. Pope, a solar heating advocate, in his 1903 book titled Solar Heat: Its Practical Applications. However, Mr. Pope indicated no additional information on Mauzey had been found.

The patent model is constructed of tin, wood and fabric. It models the mirror assembly and curtain mechanism. Also shown are the side arms that would have attached the assembly to the supporting base.

Thompson and Hunt’s Patent Model of a Shaft Governor – 1878

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 204,924 issued to Joseph W. Thompson and Nathan Hunt of Salem, Ohio on June 18 1878. The patent was for an improved design for a steam engine governor. This patent was based on a previous design by Thompson (Patent Number 162,715 of April 27, 1875).

This type of governor is intended to be mounted on the shaft of the engine and to vary the cut-off of the steam valves in order to control speed. The image of the governor shows two weights, each on a pivoting arm and secured by springs. As the governor case rotates the weights are extended outwards by centrifugal force against the tension of the springs. Pushrods attached from the pivot arms to a collar on the shaft move the relative position of the eccentric around the shaft. The eccentric is the offset circular plate shown at the end of the central shaft. The eccentric provides lateral motion to control the steam valves, and its relative position on the shaft thereby controls the timing of when the valves are closed.

Thompson’s earlier patent (Number 162,715 of April 27, 1875) had most of these key elements. The improvements made in this patent consisted of using ball and socket joints to connect the rods to the eccentric and adding stop pins mounted in cushioned slots to prevent damage caused by sudden speed changes.

Shaft governors of this design were used in the successful high speed Buckeye Engine. Both this and the earlier Thompson patent were assigned by the inventors to the Buckeye Engine Company of Salem, Ohio.

The patent model is constructed of brass and steel. All of the key elements of the patent are illustrated by the model. A full description of the operation of the governor along with complete diagrams of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, /www.uspto.gov.

Corliss’ Patent Model of a Steam Pump - 1876

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 185,390 issued to George H. Corliss of Providence, Rhode Island on December 19, 1876. The goal of the patent’s design was an efficient steam-driven water pump.

This patent was based in part upon his June 2, 1857 patent for the same purpose. That patent claimed a design for a steam pump that improved efficiency of fuel use while providing a well-regulated stream of pumped water. This was accomplished by multiple powered steam cylinders alternating with pump cylinders located around the circumference of a circular structure. Inlet and outlet water mains formed the framing of the structure. That design allowed for smooth and efficient pumping without the need for a flywheel. Corliss however desired to further improve the overall efficiency of the pump.

A principal goal of the Corliss design in Patent Number 185,390 was to provide for slow operation of the water pumps while allowing the steam engine driving the pump to work at high speed. It was known that slow pump motion was needed to allow the pump to fill and empty efficiently. However, steam engines could operate more efficiently when run faster and using the work from the expansion of steam in the cylinders.

The new patent improved upon the 1857 patent by eliminating the need for multiple steam-powered cylinders. A single steam cylinder, shown at the top of the image, was connected to a crankshaft that turned a small gear and a large flywheel at high speed. The small gear meshed with a larger gear plate upon which was mounted an offset crankpin that was connected to the pushrods for eight water pumps located around the circumference of the pump frame. The gearing allowed the goal of rapid steam cylinder and slow water pump speeds to be attained.

Corliss also made provisions in the patent design to drive the air-pump and feed-pump associated with a condensing type steam engine. The connection for the pumps was to the crankshaft for the small gear. A pushrod from that connection passed over the steam cylinder pushrod and operated a bell-crank on the engine framing. Rods at each end of the bell-crank operated the air and feed pumps which would be located below the primary pumping mechanism. The compact design of the pumping mechanism was claimed as another benefit that allowed installation in a small pumping-house. Corliss received a later patent which expanded upon the details of the air-pump mechanism.

The patent model is constructed of wood and metal. All of the key features of the invention are illustrated by the model to include the driving steam cylinder, pushrod, gearing, pump cylinders, and fly-wheel. The air-pump and feed pump pushrod is also shown, but not the bell-crank nor pump mechanisms. The details of the pump cylinder intake and outlet connections and valves are not modelled. Note that while the model shows a vertically mounted steam cylinder and pump frame, the intention of the patent was for horizontal mounting as can be seen in the patent application drawings. A full description of the invention along with complete diagrams of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, /www.uspto.gov.

Kollsman Manifold Pressure Gage

National Air and Space Museum
Offset Lithograph: Black and white illustrated print adversiting a pressure gauge. A central diagram shows a cutaway view of a manifold pressure gauge.

Fly Now: The National Air and Space Museum Poster Collection

Throughout their history, posters have been a significant means of mass communication, often with striking visual effect. Wendy Wick Reaves, the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery Curator of Prints and Drawings, comments that "sometimes a pictorial poster is a decorative masterpiece-something I can't walk by without a jolt of aesthetic pleasure. Another might strike me as extremely clever advertising … But collectively, these 'pictures of persuasion,' as we might call them, offer a wealth of art, history, design, and popular culture for us to understand. The poster is a familiar part of our world, and we intuitively understand its role as propaganda, promotion, announcement, or advertisement."

Reaves' observations are especially relevant for the impressive array of aviation posters in the National Air and Space Museum's 1300+ artifact collection. Quite possibly the largest publicly-held collection of its kind in the United States, the National Air and Space Museum's posters focus primarily on advertising for aviation-related products and activities. Among other areas, the collection includes 19th-century ballooning exhibition posters, early 20th-century airplane exhibition and meet posters, and twentieth-century airline advertisements.

The posters in the collection represent printing technologies that include original lithography, silkscreen, photolithography, and computer-generated imagery. The collection is significant both for its aesthetic value and because it is a unique representation of the cultural, commercial and military history of aviation. The collection represents an intense interest in flight, both public and private, during a significant period of its technological and social development.

The violin. Vol. 1 [sound recording] / played by Hyman Bress

Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
Program notes by Hyman Bress, including a diagram of instruments in the violin family and a list of violin music composers, (6 p. : ill.) inserted in container.

Instruction Manual for Coradi Planimeters

National Museum of American History
The citation information for this 40-page booklet is: G. Coradi, The Coradi Planimeters: Description and Instructions for the Use and Testing, with a General Elementary Explanation of Their Operation (Zurich, 1912). Gottlieb Coradi (1847–1929) established a workshop in Zurich in 1880 and began making wheel and disc polar planimeters in the Amsler style soon thereafter. In 1894, he designed the compensating polar planimeter, and by 1900, his firm was selling a precision rolling planimeter. This booklet explains the mathematical theory behind planimeters, which are used to measure the area bounded by a curved diagram. Coradi then describes the general parts of a planimeter and provides instructions for the forms manufactured by his workshop: the rolling sphere planimeter (see MA.333660 and 1977.0112.01), the precision disc planimeter (see MA.321745), and the compensating polar planimeter (see 1987.0929.01 and MA.321777). Olaus Henrici (1840–1918), a German mathematician who taught at English universities, helped Coradi prepare the booklet. The donor also provided three Coradi pamphlets on the coordinatograph, an instrument for quickly plotting points on a map according to their rectangular coordinates. According to the illustrations at the back of this booklet, Coradi's firm also made integraphs and pantographs. References: "People: Gottlieb Coradi," Waywiser, Harvard University Department of the History of Science, http://dssmhi1.fas.harvard.edu/emuseumdev/code/eMuseum.asp?lang=EN; Olaus Henrici, "On Planimeters," in Report of the Sixty-fourth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (London, 1894), 496–523.

Guilielmi Gilberti Colcestrensis, medici londinensis, De magnete : magneticisque corporibus, et de magno magnete tellure; physiologia noua, plurimis & argumentis, & experimentis demonstrata

Smithsonian Libraries
Head- and tail-pieces; initials.

Woodcut coat of arms on t.p. verso.

The folded leaf of plates is inserted between pages 200 and 201.

"Ad gravissimum doctissimumque virum D. Gulielmum Gilbertum, medicinae apud Londinenses doctorem eximium, magneticaeque philosophiae parentem; de magneticis hisce libris, Edwardi Wrighti parainesis enkōmiastikē": prelim. leaves 3-5.

Errata on p. 240.

Signatures: *⁸ A-V⁶.

Dibner Library. Heralds of science (1980 ed.), 54

STC (2nd ed.) 11883

PMM 107

Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.

Also available online.

SCDIRB copy has bookplates: 1. (armorial) Alexis Ferreol Perrin de Sanson, Ecuïer de Marseille (i.e. Félix-Alexis Sanson, fl. 1830); 2. Abrahamus Francke, A.M. S. S[acrosanc]tae & Individuae Trinitatis Collegii apud Cantabrigienses socius 1710; 3. Burndy Library ... gift of Bern Dibner. Herald of Science no. 54.

SCDIRB copy has a contemporary gilt-tooled spattered full leather binding with red edges, marbled endpapers, and green silk ribbon page marker, with armorial design and shelf-mark from the library of H. F. d'Aguesseau, 1668-1751 (Chancellor of France). Housed in a later linen-covered clamshell box with printed spine label.

Elecresource

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet Lunch Box

National Museum of American History
This steel lunch box was manufactured by Aladdin Industries in 1954. As one of the earliest metal lunch boxes, it served as a template for future designs with large colorful images of licensed fictional characters. This box features images from Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, a television show that aired on all four major networks from 1950-1955. Tom Corbett, Space Cadet also appeared as a book series, comic strip, and radio program. The back of the box features a diagram on the solar system, complete with distances from earth.

Worthington and Baker’s Patent Model of Boiler Water Gauge – ca 1847

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 4,972 issued to Henry R. Worthington of New York, New York and William H. Baker of Williamsburgh, New York on February 20, 1847. The patent was for an improved design for a gauge to measure the level of water in a steam boiler. The inventors claimed to be the first to employ a “percussion gauge” for this purpose.

The image of the model shows a brass cylinder which contains a loosely fitting piston. The piston is connected by an internal rod to a crank that operates the indicating arrow shown at the top of the model. Two flanges on the brass cylinder would be mounted to the side of the boiler so that the desired level of water would lie between the two. There are holes through each flange that extend into the cylinder, and these admitted steam at the top and water at the bottom.

The term “percussion gauge” comes from the manner of operation of the gauge. The arrow pointer would be raised as high as possible and then dropped. This allowed the piston to fall until it hit the surface of the water with percussive force and stopped with the arrow indicating the level of water.

The patent model is constructed of brass and iron. All of the key elements of the patent are illustrated by the model. A full description of the operation of the gauge along with complete diagrams of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, /www.uspto.gov.

Learn Physics From Nobel Prizewinner Richard Feynman for Free

Smithsonian Magazine

For anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to learn from a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, you’re in luck: You can read physicist Richard Feynman’s most famous lectures online for free.

Richard Feynman is legendary in the physics world for a lot of things, like helping develop the foundations of quantum mechanics (for which he won the 1965 Nobel Prize), working on the Manhattan Project and playing the bongos. But more than anything, Feynman was known as a fantastic educator. His knack for translating complex scientific principles into plain English earned Feynman the nickname "The Great Explainer." 

Last year, California Institute of Technology and the Feynman Lectures Website published the complete and up-to-date Feynman Lectures online, allowing anyone with an internet connection to learn physics from one of the greats. While there's nothing like watching Feynman lecture, only a few were ever filmed. But even in text, the Feynman Lectures are a remarkable example of the teacher at work. 

Despite the title, the lectures are anything but boring, and they read more like an engaging conversation at a party. You may not understand everything he covers on the first go-round, but you’ll probably get the gist.

The joy he found in teaching is evident in every sentence, diagram and equation. While the lectures are designed with the future physicist in mind, Feynman challenges all readers to push themselves and question everything.

When Feynman died in 1988, he left these phrases on his office blackboard: “What I cannot create, I do not understand" and "know how to solve every problem that has been solved." This was in essence his motto. Feynman believed that to truly understand something, you have to break it down to its simplest parts and piece it back together. 

Though The Feynman Lectures may not make you a genius, reading them can take you one step toward understanding the foundations of the universe.

h/t io9

Gill’s Patent Model of a Steam Gauge – ca 1859

National Museum of American History
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 23,166 issued to W.Y. Gill of Henderson, Kentucky on March 8, 1859. The patent was for an improved design for a gauge to measure the steam pressure in a boiler and to sound an alarm in case of excess pressure.

The gauge consists of a brass cylinder with a spring loaded piston inside. Steam is admitted through the base of the cylinder and pushes the piston upward. A rod attached to the piston is connected to an inner cylinder with calibrations for steam pressure engraved on it. As the piston rises more of the inner cylinder is exposed showing increasing steam pressure.

Brass plugs can be seen in the image near the bottom of the gauge. As steam pressure increases, and the piston moves upward, the holes blocked by the plugs are exposed to the steam. The operator had only to remove the plug corresponding the desired pressure limit. If the limit was exceed, the piston would allow steam to escape through the hole providing a visual and aural alarm.

The patent model is constructed of brass and mounted on a wooden base. All of the key elements of the patent are illustrated by the model. A full description of the operation of the gauge along with complete diagrams of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, /www.uspto.gov.

Dissected Triangular Prism, Ross Solid #9

National Museum of American History
This is the ninth in a series of models illustrating the volume of solids designed by William Wallace Ross, a school superintendent and mathematics teacher in Fremont, Ohio. The unpainted wooden model is a triangular prism with three rectangular sides and a triangular base and top. It separates into three pyramids of equal volume; two of these are identical. A diagram of the dissection appears on one of two paper stickers glued to the model. A mark on one label reads: Triangular Pris [. . .].

Finding the volume of pyramids was not only important for practical reasons but was central to Ross’s demonstrations for the volume of a cone and of a sphere.

For Ross solids, see 1985.0112.205 through 2012.0112.217. For further information about Ross models, including references, see 1985.0112.191.

Southeast ethnographic and vocabulary notes May, 1907

National Anthropological Archives
autograph document

Includes: census of Indian families in several Louisiana towns, pages 2 and 200; Houma vocabulary, pages 3, 198, and 4; Alibamu belt design, page 8; Hitchiti and Creek stories, pages 29-33, 172-169; and diagram of "Stomp ground in Greenleaf Mtns. for Natchez and Cherokee," page 58. Diary of May 2-22 [1907] in Louisiana; then proceeds to Indian Territory. In stenographic notebook. Is numbered 1-100 on on side of pages and 101-200 running back the other way on reverse; but notes have been taken in normal order. Partial outline of contents prepared summer, 1970 by M. C. Blaker gives page numbers in order inscribed, Incomplete outline of contents left with manuscript.-- MCB, 6/1972.
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