Patent Model for Steering Steam Ships

Mechanical engineer Frederck Sickels devoted his career to improving steam engines and advancing their use at sea. He was particularly interested in developing steam-assisted steering, a topic dear to many inventors as ships became larger and heavier through the middle of the nineteenth century. This patent model demonstrates Sickels's idea for a steering apparatus where steam pressure in a pair of cylinders would both control the side-to-side motion of a vessel's rudder but also hold the rudder stationary against the force of the surrounding water.
Object Name
steamboat, sickels'
steamboat, sickels', model
patent model, steering, steamboat
date made
patent date
Sickels, Frederick E.
Sickels, Frederick E.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (part material)
overall: 12 1/2 in x 6 5/8 in x 26 1/4 in; 31.75 cm x 16.8275 cm x 66.675 cm
associated place
United States: New York, New York
United States: New York
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
Industry & Manufacturing
Invention and the Patent Model
Patent Models
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Patent Models
Invention and the Patent Model
Inventing In America
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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