Shlarbaum’s Patent Model of an Oscillating Steam Engine– ca 1863

Shlarbaum’s Patent Model of an Oscillating Steam Engine– ca 1863

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This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 39,756 issued to Hermann Shlarbaum of New York, New York on September 1, 1863. The patent was for an improvement in oscillating steam engines. An oscillating steam engine differs from a standard engine in that the steam cylinder is pivoted on the engine frame and oscillates back and forth about the pivot as its connecting rod operates the crankshaft of the engine. In a standard engine, the cylinder is fixed in orientation, and the piston rod moves fore and aft within a crosshead which allows the connecting rod to pivot independently as the crankshaft revolves.
Mr. Shlarbaum did not claim his overall design as new. Others had patented very similar designs. His claim was for the unique design of the steam and exhaust valves for the engine. The claimed benefits of this design included simplicity and economy of manufacture, operation and maintenance. The inventor also claimed that his design avoided having lubricating oil in the pivot being overheated by high pressure steam.
The patent model is constructed of cast iron and brass. All of the key elements of the patent are illustrated by the model to include the valve mechanism. A full description of the workings of the engine 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,
Object Name
engine, steam, patent model
patent model, engine, steam
date made
ca 1863
patent date
Shlarbaum, Herrmann
place made
United States: New York, New York City
associated place
United States: New York, New York City
Physical Description
cast-iron (overall material)
wheel: 9 1/2 in; x 24.13 cm
model: 11 1/2 in; 29.21 cm
ID Number
catalog number
patent number
accession number
Patent Models
Steam Engines
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Industry & Manufacturing
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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