Doble Water Wheel, Patent Model

This model was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office with the application for the patent issued to William A. Doble, of San Francisco, California, February 7, 1899, no. 619149.
The model represents a small sector of the rotor of a water wheel to which are attached three buckets, which illustrate, generally, the characteristics of the modern [1930s] tangential water-wheel bucket, i. e., the notched lip, the splitter wedge, the curved face and back, and the method of attaching the buckets to the rotor.
The feature of this particular bucket is the form of the curved faces, which are designed to disturb the jets of water as little as possible in any way except in the plane of the wheel’s rotation. The curves are developed upon the theory that the water moving at high velocity has a tendency to remain in one plane, called “kinetic stability”, so that the resultant angles of reaction caused by the reversing curves of the bucket faces are not a normal result of these curves but are divergent therefrom.
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
Doble, William A.
place made
United States: California
associated place
United States: California, San Francisco
Physical Description
nickel plated (overall material)
overall-from catalog card: 4 1/2 in x 5 1/2 in; 11.43 cm x 13.97 cm
overall: 5 3/4 in x 4 in x 6 in; 14.605 cm x 10.16 cm x 15.24 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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