Model of a Bottle-Frame Steam Engine

Model of a Bottle-Frame Steam Engine

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This is a model of a bottle-frame vertical steam engine. Its date of manufacture is unknown, but similar designs were in use ca 1880. In the image of the model the bottle-frame is shown at the lower right. Atop the frame is the steam cylinder which is blue. Mounted on its left side is the steam valve with inlet and exhaust ports. The valve is operated by the two pushrods extending down to the eccentric gear on the shaft. The flywheel is seen to the left of the image. The second image shows the interior of the frame with the piston rod extending downwards from the cylinder to the connecting rod which turns the crank on the shaft.
Before the widespread use of electric motors, small high-speed steam engines were common for general light duty. Simple and dependable, such engines were cheap to build and easy to operate and maintain. They could be connected directly to pumps, generators, blowers and other machinery.
Object Name
Engine, Steam
engine, steam, model
place made
United States: Missouri
Physical Description
wood (?? material)
overall: 8 1/2 in x 8 in x 3 5/8 in; 21.59 cm x 20.32 cm x 9.2075 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Robert E. M. Bain, St. Louis, Missouri
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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