Model of a J.W. Thompson "Buckeye" Steam Engine – ca 1875

Model of a J.W. Thompson "Buckeye" Steam Engine – ca 1875

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This is a model of the widely used and very successful "Buckeye" engine developed by J. W. Thompson and Nathan Hunt about 1875. It was one of the first of the high-speed, variable cut-off ("auto-matic") engines. The model has cut away sections to show the inner details of the steam cylinder and valve mechanism. The valve is a hollow-piston slide valve, taking steam at the center and passing it through the hollow center of the valve to ports through the walls of the valve. A sleeve like cut-off valve operates within the main valve to close the ports. The main valve is operated by a fixed eccentric on the crankshaft and the cut-off valve by a shifting eccentric, the position of which is varied by a centrifugal governor of the Thompson and Hunt type. In the image this governor is seen within the flywheel on the right. It is based on Thompson’s Patent Number 162,715 of April 27, 1875. The fixed eccentric drives the valve via the upper pushrod, and the variable, or shifting, eccentric operates the lower pushrod to control the cut off valve.
Object Name
Engine, Steam
engine, steam, buckeye, thompson, ca. 1875
date made
ca 1875
place made
United States: Ohio
overall: 20 in x 8 in; x 50.8 cm x 20.32 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. N. C. Hunt, Salem, Ohio
Steam Engines
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Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Power Machinery
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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