Bottle Jack

Clockwork roasting jack or spit engine consisting of a tall, slender cylindrical shaft with astragal-arched hanging loop mounted on top of a larger cylinder containing a spring-powered mechanism that winds up with the attached key; turning tip with small suspension hook extends through opening in the flat hexagonal base plate and rotates both clockwise and counterclockwise for even roasting. Open circular keyhole on front above an oval embossed nameplate for "W. S. BURTON (arched) / GENERAL / FURNISHING / IRONMONGER / 39 OXFORD S\T". Missing cast iron spit wheel that hangs from suspension hook.
William S. Burton was both a manufacturer and retailer of iron and brass bedsteads, lamps, baths, etc.; he operated his showrooms at 39 (then 88) Oxford Street from c. 1847 until the 1880s. Not known if he made this particular jack or was just the seller (see 1982.0090.02 for a nearly identical model patented by John Linwood of Sheffield, England).
Currently not on view
Object Name
jack, bottle
jack, roasting
date made
Physical Description
brass (housing material)
iron (hooks; key; hardware; clockwork parts material)
steel (spring and other clockwork parts material)
overall: 4 3/4 in x 4 13/16 in x 13 3/4 in; 12.065 cm x 12.22375 cm x 34.925 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
place sold
United Kingdom: England, London
place used
United States: Middle Atlantic
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Ivor Cornman
Additional Media

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.