Harrison Lubricator, Patent Model

Harrison Lubricator, Patent Model

This model was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office with the application for the patent issued to A. L. Harrison, of Bristol, Connecticut, March 2, 1880, no. 225124.
The model represents a steam-engine lubricator in which the oil is contained in a reservoir fitted with a balanced diaphragm upon both sides of which the steam pressure in the main acts. The unbalanced pressure required to force oil into the steam is atmospheric pressure obtained by the use of a vacuum chamber when the engine is operating condensing, or the hydrostatic pressure of a water column when the engine is operating noncondensing.
The lubricator consists of an oval chamber divided by a flexible diaphragm. The space above the diaphragm contains the oil and is connected through a glycerine-filled sign glass to the steam chest or cylinder of the engine. The space below the diaphragm is connected to the steam pipe from the boiler, so that steam pressure acts on both sides of the diaphragm. A rod attached to the center of the diaphragm passes through suitable stuffing boxes to a piston in a cylinder below the diaphragm chamber. The space above the piston is connected to the condenser of the engine so that atmospheric pressure will exert an unbalanced force upon the under side of the piston, and through it upon the diaphragm, sufficient to force the oil out of the lubricator into the engine. When used with a noncondensing engine a water column in the steam pipe connecting to the under side of the diaphragm provides an unbalanced hydrostatic pressure on the diaphragm.
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
lubricator, model
patent model, lubricator, steam engine
Object Type
Patent Model
date made
patent date
Harrison, Andrew L.
place made
United States: Connecticut
associated place
United States: Connecticut, Bristol
Physical Description
nickel (overall material)
overall: 15 3/8 in x 5 1/2 in x 9 7/8 in; 39.0525 cm x 13.97 cm x 25.0825 cm
nickel model-from catalog card: 7 in x 13 in; 17.78 cm x 33.02 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Bulletin 173
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Industry & Manufacturing
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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