Adam’s Patent Model of a Stove Drum - ca 1868

Adam’s Patent Model of a Stove Drum - ca 1868

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This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 85,196 issued to John Adams of Findlay, Ohio on December 22, 1868. His patent was for a new and improved design for a Stove-Drum. A stove drum was the element of a heater or furnace which heated air via contact with a large, hot metal surface. It would be located between the combustion chamber of the stove and the chimney. Mr. Adam’s design consisted of two truncated cones interconnected by flues. The lower cone was the entry point for the hot combustion gases and had an inner truncated cone which included a damper at its bottom. With the damper open the hot gases would travel directly upwards through a pipe that ran through the middle of the lower and upper cones and thence to the chimney. This resulted in the minimal amount of metal surfaces being exposed to the gases and thus the least heat being provided to the room. It also allowed a more direct draft for lighting the fire. With the damper closed the hot gases flowed in the volume between the inside and outside lower cones. A plate at the top of these cones allowed the gases to flow into the five flues that interconnected the upper and lower cones. A key element of Adam’s patent was the division of each flue into two halves via vertical partitions. After coming up through the lower cones, the gases entered the outer compartment of the flues where it then entered the upper cone and heated its outside surface. The gases would then flow back downwards through the inner compartment of the flues and into the inner lower cone which communicated with the chimney via the vertical pipe previously mentioned. With the damper closed the entirety of the surface of the stove-drum would be heated by the combustion gases, and this provided the maximum heating for the room. Research of available trade literature and other sources has not revealed any commercial product that may have made use of this invention by Mr. Adams. He did have one additional patent for a furnace which appears to be based in part on the principles of this stove-drum patent.
The model is constructed of unpainted tinplate and represented the key elements of Adam’s patent. The upper and lower truncated cones are shown as are the interconnecting flues, the inner lower cone, and the damper. Diagrams showing the complete design can be found in the patent document online (
Currently not on view
Object Name
patent model, stove drum
Object Type
Patent Model
patent date
Adams, John
associated place
United States: Ohio, Findlay
overall: 8 in x 3 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in; 20.32 cm x 8.89 cm x 8.89 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent number
Credit Line
Transfer from Department of the Interior
Patent Models
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Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Patent Models
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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