Model of a Wooden Steam Boiler


This is a model of a wooden steam boiler built in the early 19th century. At that time wrought-iron plates were scarce and expensive in the United States. Most iron plate was imported from England, and domestic ones were crude. This led to the construction of numerous wooden boilers.

Distillers’ wooden vessels, in common use, were modified into steam generators for the early low pressure pumping engines such as those in the Philadelphia and New York City waterworks. This model represents a boiler used until 1815 in the Center Square Waterworks at Philadelphia. The fire was carried in a winding cast-iron flue through the outer chest of five inch white pine. Operating pressure was about 2 ½ pounds per square inch.

The model was built by the Smithsonian in 1934.

Date Made: 1801 - 1815

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania

Subject: Steam EnginesModel


See more items in: Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Engineering, Building, and Architecture

Exhibition: Power Machinery

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Publication: Frank A. Taylor. Catalog of the Mechanical Collections of the Division of Engineering United States National Museum, Bulletin 173

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MC.310849Catalog Number: 310849Accession Number: 130183

Object Name: Boiler, Steamboiler, steam, model

Measurements: overall: 18 3/4 in x 13 1/4 in x 22 1/2 in; 47.625 cm x 33.655 cm x 57.15 cm


Record Id: nmah_846106

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