Branca Turbine Model

Giovanni Branca, a chemist of Loretto, Italy, suggested a steam engine in which a jet of steam issuing from a nozzle was directed against the blades of a paddle wheel. This is the earliest suggestion of an impulse turbine.
The model, made for the U.S. National Museum, shows such a wheel connected to the pestles of a chemist’s stamp mill. The nozzle is attached directly to a spherical copper boiler.
Reference: Le Machine, Rome, 1668.
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
turbine, steam
turbine, steam, model
date made
ca 1629
Smithsonian Institution
overall-from catalog card: 6 in x 7 1/2 in x 10 3/4 in; 15.24 cm x 19.05 cm x 27.305 cm
overall: 6 in x 7 3/8 in x 10 7/8 in; 15.24 cm x 18.7325 cm x 27.6225 cm
place made
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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

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