Richards Balanced Valve, Patent Model

Richards Balanced Valve, Patent Model

This model was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office with the application for the patent issued to Thomas Richards, of Lansingburg, New York, May 22, 1866, no. 54959.
This model represents a slightly conical plug valve fitted within a conical valve housing, which is provided with eight equally spaced steam ports so arranged that diametrically opposite ports are connected together in pairs. The result is that the pressure on the valve due to the steam or exhaust pressure in each pair of ports is perfectly balanced.
Three adjoining ports in the valve housing are continued through the housing, which is provided at that point with a flat surface that permits the valve to be placed against the ordinary valve seat of a D-slide valve engine, the three ports registering with the steam passages to the ends of the cylinder and with the exhaust passage at the center of the seat. The valve is constructed with four equally spaced longitudinal recesses with four alternate bands. The valve is operated by rocking it a part of a turn in each direction from the center.
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
balanced valves
balanced valves, model
Object Type
Patent Model
date made
patent date
place made
United States: New York
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
small brass cylinder - from catalog card: 2 in x 2 in; 5.08 cm x 5.08 cm
overall: 1 7/8 in x 2 1/8 in x 3 1/4 in; 4.7625 cm x 5.3975 cm x 8.255 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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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