Maudslay and Field’s Patent Model of Marine Steam engine – ca 1842

Maudslay and Field’s Patent Model of Marine Steam engine – ca 1842

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This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 2,668 issued to Joseph Maudslay and Joshua Field of Lambeth, England on June 11, 1842. The patent was for improvements to steam engines intended for use in steam ships. The type of ship envisioned for their engine was one with paddle wheels mounted on each side. This required that the shaft powering the wheels be placed relatively low in the hull. This in turn required a very compact engine to fit in the constrained vertical space.
Maudslay and Field responded with a design which had its crankshaft located just above the top of the cylinder. Two piston rods extended upwards to a cross head above the cylinder. A single connecting rod extended downward from the cross head to the crankshaft. The images of the model show the steam cylinder at the bottom center. To its left is the slide type steam valve, and to the right is the air pump which is operated by rocker arms attached to connecting rods from the cross head.
The inventors were owners of Maudslay, Sons and Field, a major manufacturer of steam engines located in Lambeth, England. Their marine engines were widely used by the British Admiralty. They also built the engine for the SS Great Western, one of the first paddle wheel steamers designed for the Atlantic trade.
The patent model is constructed of steel and wood. All of the key elements of the patent are illustrated by the model. It includes a small hand crank to permit demonstration of actual operation. A section of a paddle wheel is present at the rear of the model. A full description of the operation of the engine along with complete diagrams of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website,
Object Name
engine, steam, marine, model
patent model, engine, marine steam
date made
patent date
Maudslay, Joseph
Field, Joshua
place made
United Kingdom: England
associated place
United Kingdom: England, London, Lambeth
overall: 14 in x 10 in x 19 in; 35.56 cm x 25.4 cm x 48.26 cm
ID Number
catalog number
patent number
accession number
Patent Models
Steam Engines
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Patent Models
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Power Machinery
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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