Fowle Marine-Engine Governor, Patent Office

Fowle Marine-Engine Governor, Patent Office

This model was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office with the application for the patent issued to Joseph W. Fowle, of Boston, Massachusetts, August 14, 1877, no. 194037.
The model represents a 1-cylinder, vertical marine engine connected to a propeller shaft and propeller in the ordinary manner, with a float or inertia device for closing the throttle valve of the engine each time the vessel in which the engine is installed pitches sufficiently to raise the propeller out of the water.
The gear consists of a heavy weight suspended in suitable guides and stops near the keel of the ship. This weight is not rigidly fixed relative to the ship but tends to float in position as the vessel rises and falls. The change in relative positions actuates a valve lever on an auxiliary steam cylinder and piston, which, in turn, moves the main throttle valve of the engine.
This description comes from the 1939 Catalog of the Mechanical Collections of the Division of Engineering United States Museum Bulletin 173 by Frank A. Taylor.
Currently not on view
Object Name
governor, marine engine, model
patent model, governor, marine engine
Object Type
Patent Model
date made
patent date
Fowle, Joseph W.
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
associated place
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
overall - from catalog card: 8 in x 12 in; 20.32 cm x 30.48 cm
overall: 8 1/8 in x 12 1/8 in x 5 7/8 in; 20.6375 cm x 30.7975 cm x 14.9225 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Industry & Manufacturing
Bulletin 173
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object