Mayhew Diaphragm Steam Engine, Patent Model

This model was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office with the application for the patent issued to Theophilus Mayhew, of New York, New York, July 8, 1879, no. 217392.
The engine consists of a hemispherical cuplike chamber over the concave opening of which is stretched a flexible diaphragm. This chamber connects to a valve chest in which a flat plate valve works over the intake and exhaust ports. A lever extends from the frame of the machine over the diaphragm upon which a projection of the lever rests. Inflation and deflation of the diaphragm by admitting and exhausting steam raise the lever and permit it to fall by its own weight. A system of cranks and spring actuated by the lever operates the valve. The engine was designed as a simple device for operating churns and similar machines.
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
engine, steam, and other, model
patent model, motor
date made
patent date
Mayhew, Theophilus
overall: 5 1/2 in x 7 in x 5 7/8 in; 13.97 cm x 17.78 cm x 14.9225 cm
on base - from catalog card: 5 1/2 in x 7 in; 13.97 cm x 17.78 cm
place made
United States: New York
associated place
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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

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