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.

Date Made: 1849Patent Date: 1849-10-23

Inventor: Lighthall, William A.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New York, New York CityAssociated Place: United States: New York, Albany

See more items in: Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Bulletin 173, Engineering, Building, and Architecture, Work, Industry & Manufacturing


Exhibition Location:

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.308641Catalog Number: 308641Accession Number: 89797Patent Number: 6,811

Object Name: patent model, engine, reciprocating steamObject Type: Patent Model

Physical Description: buff board (overall material)Measurements: on buff board - from catalog card: 25 in x 19 in; 63.5 cm x 48.26 cmoverall: 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


Record Id: nmah_847091

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