Plunger Propulsion, Patent Model

Description
This patent model accompanied Jacob Eckhardt’s application for a new method in the propulsion of vessels that received patent number 179,407 on July 4, 1876. The model comprises a black-painted hull enclosing an internal mechanism of rods and gears. The bottom of the hull is wood; the sides are metal. The model represents a system for propelling vessels though water using oscillating plungers. Eckhardt’s plan was to propel a steamship by the action of oscillating plungers. Pairs of plungers were to be placed in recesses built into a ship’s hull. By positioning two plunger boxes at each end of the vessel, and by making the vessel pointed at both ends, Eckhardt claimed that the ship would “be able to run in either direction without turning around.”
Location
Currently not on view
Date made
1876
patent date
1876-07-04
patentee
Eckhardt, Jacob
Associated Place
United States: Missouri, Saint Louis
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (part material)
Measurements
overall: 12 1/8 in x 5 1/8 in x 4 1/2 in; 30.7975 cm x 13.0175 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
1990.0114.01
catalog number
1990.0114.01
accession number
1990.0114
patent number
179407
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur E. Denu
subject
Patent Models
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
America on the Move
Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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