Colwell Disulphide of Carbon Generator and Engine, Patent Model

The model was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office with the application for the patent issued to William S. Colwell, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1879, no. 219622.
The model represents a reciprocating engine of more or less conventional steam engine design in which the operating fluid is vaporized carbon disulphide supplied by a boiler or generator and condensed in an air-cooled condenser. The transfer of heat from the fire in the boiler to the carbon disulphide and from the exhaust vapor to the cooling air of the condenser is effected through water. Plumbago, or black lead, is used to protect the walls of the generator and the engine from the action of the carbon-disulphide vapor. Steam and hot water from the water jacket of the generator are led into passages surrounding the engine cylinder and connecting pipes to prevent the loss of heat form the vapor.
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
date made
patent date
Colwell, William S.
associated place
United States: Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh
overall.1: 9 1/8 in x 12 5/8 in x 12 3/4 in; 23.1775 cm x 32.0675 cm x 32.385 cm
overall - from catalog card: 12 1/2 in x 12 1/2 in; 31.75 cm x 31.75 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Industry & Manufacturing
Bulletin 173
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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