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Porter’s Patent Model of a Steam Engine Governor – ca 1858

Porter’s Patent Model of a Steam Engine Governor – ca 1858

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Description
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 20,894 issued to Charles T. Porter of New York, New York on July 13, 1858. The patent was for an improvement in controlling the speed of a steam engine by use of a fly ball governor. This design was one of the earliest weighted fly ball governors. It differed from the common fly ball governor in that the balls were of very light weight, and the governor was intended to be operated at much higher speeds of rotation. The governor included gearing that rotated the fly balls at approximately ten times the speed of the engine's rotation. The design did not suffer from the increased friction of heavy fly balls which would reduce responsiveness. The inventor claimed the advantages of his design were more sensitive and rapid responses to small changes in engine speed. The Porter governor design was used in the Porter-Allen engine introduced about 1867, and the weighted fly ball principle was widely used from then on.
The patent model is constructed of cast iron and steel. All of the key elements of the patent are illustrated by the model. It includes a hand crank to permit demonstration of actual operation. A full description of the workings of the governor and diagrams showing the complete design of the patent can be found in the patent document online at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, www.uspto.gov.
Object Name
governor, steam engine, loaded type, model
patent model, governor, steam engine
date made
1858
patent date
1858-07-13
inventor
Porter, Charles T.
place made
United States: New York
associated place
United States: New York, New York City
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
steel (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 12 in x 12 in x 11 in; 30.48 cm x 30.48 cm x 27.94 cm
ID Number
MC.251289
catalog number
251289
accession number
48865
patent number
20,894
subject
Patent Models
Steam Engines
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Work
Industry & Manufacturing
Patent Models
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Exhibition
Power Machinery
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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