Multiple Hydrostatic Lubricator Model

Multiple Hydrostatic Lubricator Model

This is an automatic lubricator that delivers lubricating oil into the steam being supplied to a steam engine at any desired rate. It employs the pressure due to a column of water plus the pressure of the steam in the main to force the oil into the main against the steam pressure.
The lubricator consists principally of a large cylindrical brass reservoir containing the oil. This reservoir is connected at the top through a length of vertical uninsulated pipe to the steam main. The pipe extends down within the reservoir to a point near the bottom. Steam entering this pipe is condensed to some extent and conveys water into the reservoir, where it displaces the oil to the top. A second pipe entering the reservoir at the bottom extends nearly to the top. The top of this pipe is open, and the oil is forced into it. This pip conveys the oil to a needle valve at the bottom of a sight glass or water column through which the oil rises in drops to the pipe that conveys it to the steam main. The resistance offered the flow of oil by the pressure in the main is overcome by the pressure exerted in the oil in the reservoir by the steam pressure in the uninsulated pipe plus the pressure due to the height of the column of water standing in the pipe.
The rate of flow of the oil is regulated by the needle valve at the bottom of the sight glass, which is set to deliver oil at the rate required, usually stated in drops per minute. This is a multiple lubricator provided with three delivery valves and sight glasses from which oil may be supplied to three different points at three different rates. A sight level glass on the side of the reservoir is provided to show the quantities of oil and water within the reservoir. Stiff sheet-brass guards surround all of the glass parts so that the highly strained gauge glass will not fly far off if the glass should fail under the pressure within the lubricator.
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
Object Type
Patent Model
date made
patent date
Gates, John
place made
United States: Oregon
associated place
United States: Oregon, Portland
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
overall: 20 in x 8 1/8 in x 12 in; 50.8 cm x 20.6375 cm x 30.48 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
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Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Industry & Manufacturing
Bulletin 173
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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