Richards Balanced Valve, Patent Model

This model was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office with the application for the patent issued to Thomas Richards, of Lansingburg, New York, May 22, 1866, no. 54959.
This model represents a slightly conical plug valve fitted within a conical valve housing, which is provided with eight equally spaced steam ports so arranged that diametrically opposite ports are connected together in pairs. The result is that the pressure on the valve due to the steam or exhaust pressure in each pair of ports is perfectly balanced.
Three adjoining ports in the valve housing are continued through the housing, which is provided at that point with a flat surface that permits the valve to be placed against the ordinary valve seat of a D-slide valve engine, the three ports registering with the steam passages to the ends of the cylinder and with the exhaust passage at the center of the seat. The valve is constructed with four equally spaced longitudinal recesses with four alternate bands. The valve is operated by rocking it a part of a turn in each direction from the center.
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
balanced valves
balanced valves, model
date made
patent date
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
small brass cylinder - from catalog card: 2 in x 2 in; 5.08 cm x 5.08 cm
overall: 1 7/8 in x 2 1/8 in x 3 1/4 in; 4.7625 cm x 5.3975 cm x 8.255 cm
place made
United States: New York
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

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.