Lighthall Half-Beam Marine Engine, Patent Model

This model was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office with the application for the patent issued to William A. Lighthall, of Albany, New York, October 23, 1849, no. 6811.
The model shows a combination of a horizontal cylinder with a vertical beam to which the engine’s force is applied between the fulcrum and the connecting rod to the engine crank. It permits locating the propelling machinery of a side-wheel steamboat low within the hull.
The model is a panel representing a horizontal cylinder with piston rod connecting to a short beam pivoted at a point below the level of the cylinder. From a short distance above the point at which the piston force is applied to the beam a long connecting rod connects to the crank on the engine shaft located above the cylinder and at the middle of its length. The location of the condenser below the cylinder and the location of the air pump and the manner of operating it are shown by the model.
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
patent model, engine, reciprocating steam
date made
patent date
Lighthall, William A.
Physical Description
buff board (overall material)
on buff board - from catalog card: 25 in x 19 in; 63.5 cm x 48.26 cm
overall: 25 1/4 in x 19 1/8 in x 2 5/8 in; 64.135 cm x 48.5775 cm x 6.6675 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
associated place
United States: New York, Albany
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, 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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