Roebling Safety Steam Gauge, Patent Model

This model was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office with the application for the patent issued to John A. Roebling, of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, July 16, 1842, no. 2728.
The model represents a section of a steam-boiler flue and head to which is attached the safety gauge. The gauge consists of a box fastened to the top of the flue and containing a fusible metal upon which rests a weight connected through a lever to a valve in the boiler head. Should the level of water within the boiler fall below the top of the flue, the fusible metal would melt and allow the weight to fall and open the valve, attracting the attention of the engineer. A rod is provided by which the lever and weight are raised by the engineer before admitting more water, so that the fused metal will solidify below the weight and the gauge will be in a position to function again.
This description comes from the 1939 Catalog of the Mechanical Collections of the Division of Engineering United States Museum Bulletin 173 by Frank A. Taylor.
Currently not on view
Object Name
gauge, safety steam, model
patent model, gauge, steam boiler
date made
patent date
Roebling, John A.
overall: 8 1/2 in x 7 in x 9 1/2 in; 21.59 cm x 17.78 cm x 24.13 cm
place made
United States: New Jersey
associated place
United States: Pennsylvania, Saxonburg
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent number
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Industry & Manufacturing
Bulletin 173
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Bulletin 173
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
Frank A. Taylor. Catalog of the Mechanical Collections of the Division of Engineering United States National Museum, Bulletin 173
Additional Media

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