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1851 Singer's Sewing Machine Patent Model

Inventor:
Singer, Isaac M.
Physical Description:
iron (mechanisms material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 16 in x 17 in x 12 in; 40.64 cm x 43.18 cm x 30.48 cm
Object Name:
sewing machine patent model
Model constructed:
before 1851-08-12
Patent date:
1851-08-12
Subject:
Textiles
Patent Models
National Treasures exhibit
Patent Models
Invention
Patent Models, Sewing Machines
American Enterprise
Related Publication:
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Depicted; referenced:
Janssen, Barbara Suit. Icons of invention : American patent models
Listed:
Janssen, Barbara Suit. Patent Models Index
Publication title:
The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Development
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author:
Cooper, Grace Rogers
National Museum of American History
Publication URL:
http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/HST/Cooper/CF/view.cfm
http://americanhistory.si.edu/treasures
ID Number:
TE*T06054
Accession number:
48865
Catalog number:
T06054.000
Patent number:
008294
Description:
Sewing Machine Patent Model Patent No. 8,294, issued August 12, 1851
Isaac Merritt Singer of New York, New York
The eighth child of poor German immigrants, Isaac Singer was born on October 27, 1811, in Pittstown, New York. As a young man he worked as a mechanic and cabinetmaker. For a time he was an actor and formed his own theatrical troupe, The Merritt Players.” Needing a steadier income, Singer worked for a plant in Fredericksburg, Ohio, that manufactured wooden type for printers. Seeing the need for a better type-carving machine, he invented an improved one.
In June 1850, Singer and a partner took the machine to Boston looking for financial support. He rented display space in the workshop of Orson C. Phelps. Here Singer became intrigued with the sewing machine that Phelps was building for John A. Lerow and Sherburne C. Blodgett. Analyzing the flaws of the Lerow and Blodgett sewing machine, Singer devised a machine that used a shuttle that moved in a straight path—as opposed to theirs, which moved around in a complete circle. He visualized replacing their curved horizontal needle with a straight, vertically moving needle. Phelps approved of Singer’s ideas and Isaac worked on perfecting his machine.
For his first patent model, Isaac Singer submitted a commercial sewing machine. He was granted Patent No. 8,294, on August 12, 1851. These commercial sewing machines were built in Orson C. Phelps’s machine shop in Boston. The head, base cams, and gear wheels of the machine were made of cast iron; to fit together, these parts had to be filed and ground by hand. The machine made a lockstitch by using a straight, eye-pointed needle and a reciprocating shuttle. The specific patent claims allowed were for: 1) the additional forward motion of the shuttle to tighten the stitch; 2) the use of a friction pad to control the tension of the thread from the spool; and 3) placing the spool of thread on an adjustable arm to permit thread to be used as needed.
Always the showman, Singer relished exhibiting his invention at social gatherings and was masterful in convincing the women present that the sewing machine was a tool they could learn to use. The machine was transported in its packing crate, which served as a stand; it contained a wooden treadle that allowed the seamstress to power the machine with her feet, leaving both hands free to guide the cloth. This early, heavy-duty Singer machine was designed for use in the manufacturing trades rather than in the home.
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Home and Community Life: Textiles
National Treasures exhibit
Patent Models
American Enterprise
Patent Models, Sewing Machines
Exhibition:
American Enterprise
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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1838 Day's Patent Model of a Cordage Machine

Inventor:
Day, Moses
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Object Name:
rope making machine
cordage machine patent model
Model constructed:
before 1838-02-07
Patent date:
1838-02-07
Subject:
Textiles
Patent Models
Patent Models
Invention
Patent Models, Textile Machinery
Listed:
Janssen, Barbara Suit. Patent Models Index
ID Number:
TE*T11405.045
Accession number:
89797
Catalog number:
T11405.045
Patent number:
596
Description:
Cordage Machine Patent Model
Patent No. 596, issued February 7, 1838
Moses Day of Roxbury, Massachusetts
This patent was an improvement on Day’s earlier patent (9692x) of June 2, 1836, which was destroyed in the 1836 fire and reconstructed by the Patent Office for the Columbian Exposition of 1893.
The difference between the two patents is the addition of a gauge-plate to the end of the machine, by which it became a strandmaker. Day stated that his method of making cordage had two advantages over those in common use. First, the twist given to the strand was uniform throughout its length. Second, as the cord was made, it was wound on a bobbin, thereby eliminating the need for long rope walks and large buildings. The whole process could be done in a room that was only slightly larger than the cordage machine and the bobbin frame.
Location:
Currently not on view
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Home and Community Life: Textiles
Patent Models
Patent Models, Textile Machinery
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Patent Model for the Improvement in Stem-winding Watches

Licensee:
Gontard, P. H.
Inventor:
Gontard, Pauline H.
Physical Description:
metal (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 2 3/4 in x 2 1/8 in x 1/2 in; 6.985 cm x 5.3975 cm x 1.27 cm
Object Name:
watch, part of
watch part
patent model, watch part
Place made:
United States
Date made:
1879
Patent date:
1879-10-07
Subject:
Measuring & Mapping
Industry & Manufacturing
Timekeeping
Invention and the Patent Model
Patent Models
ID Number:
ME*309088
Catalog number:
309088
Accession number:
89797
Patent number:
220,233
Description (Brief):
Pauline Hortense Gontard, of Cortébert, Switzerland, submitted this brass model with her patent application for an improvement in the winding mechanism in a stem winding watch or keyless watch. By the time, she applied for the patent in the United States in 1879, American watchmakers were mass producing watches and competing with European watch makers.
Stem winding watches were invented by a French clock maker in 1842 and patented in Europe in 1845. Before this time a key was necessary to wind a watch mechanism.
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Patent Models
Invention and the Patent Model
Exhibition:
Invention and the Patent Model
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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1839 Pratt's Patent Model of a Reeling, Spinning, and Twisting Silk Machine

Inventor:
Pratt, Jacob
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
metal (mechanisms material)
Object Name:
reeling, spinning, and twisting silk machine patent model
Model constructed:
before 1839-10-12
Patent date:
1839-10-12
Subject:
Textiles
Patent Models
Patent Models
Invention
Patent Models, Textile Machinery
Listed:
Janssen, Barbara Suit. Patent Models Index
ID Number:
TE*T11426.020
Accession number:
89797
Catalog number:
T11426.020
Patent number:
001367
Description:
Reeling, Spinning, and Twisting Silk Machine Patent Model
Patent No. 1,367, issued October 12, 1839
Jacob Pratt of Sherborn, Massachusetts
Pratt is an example of an inventor who thought he had a more complicated original invention than he actually had. In his patent application file, his specification makes four claims. Out of those four, only one was approved by Charles M. Keller, the patent examiner, and that claim was for using a trough of zinc. The trough held spools of silk fibers prior to spinning and was filled with warm water, which kept the fibers from sticking together.
The Journal of the Franklin Institute, 1840, commented: “Its construction is, in general, similar to such as is well known, and is not claimed as new . . . No particular reason is given for making the troughs of zinc, and we suppose that copper would do equally well; but from the special mention of this metal we were led to look for some ground of preference to it.”
Location:
Currently not on view
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Home and Community Life: Textiles
Patent Models
Patent Models, Textile Machinery
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Patent Model for Steering Steam Ships

Patentee:
Sickels, Frederick E.
Inventor:
Sickels, Frederick E.
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
brass (part material)
Measurements:
overall: 12 1/2 in x 6 5/8 in x 26 1/4 in; 31.75 cm x 16.8275 cm x 66.675 cm
Object Name:
steamboat, sickels'
steamboat, sickels', model
patent model, steering, steamboat
Associated place:
United States: New York, New York
United States: New York
Date made:
1853
Patent date:
1853-05-10
Subject:
Transportation
Maritime
Industry & Manufacturing
Invention and the Patent Model
Patent Models
ID Number:
TR*252595
Catalog number:
252595
Accession number:
49064
Patent number:
9,713
Description:
Mechanical engineer Frederck Sickels devoted his career to improving steam engines and advancing their use at sea. He was particularly interested in developing steam-assisted steering, a topic dear to many inventors as ships became larger and heavier through the middle of the nineteenth century. This patent model demonstrates Sickels's idea for a steering apparatus where steam pressure in a pair of cylinders would both control the side-to-side motion of a vessel's rudder but also hold the rudder stationary against the force of the surrounding water.
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Work and Industry: Maritime
Patent Models
Invention and the Patent Model
Exhibition:
Inventing In America
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Benson's Patent Model of a Windmill - 1878

Inventor:
Benson, Jesse
Measurements:
overall: 9 in x 8 in x 13 1/2 in; 22.86 cm x 20.32 cm x 34.29 cm
Object Name:
patent model, windmill
Place made:
United States: Ohio
Associated place:
United States: Ohio, Champaign county
Date made:
1878
Patent date:
1878-11-12
Subject:
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Patent Models
Wind energy
Patent Models
ID Number:
MC*309133
Accession number:
89797
Patent number:
209,853
Catalog number:
309133
Description:
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 209,853 issued to Jesse Benson on November 12, 1878. Benson’s invention was an improved style windmill based on a turbine wheel. His claims included the advantages of simplicity, compactness, strength, and cost. He also claimed an improved and simpler governor mechanism. While most period windmills were simple fan designs with separate blades, other turbine wheel designs predated Benson’s patent. Benson’s improvements over earlier designs included simple and strong construction of the turbine wheel. It was based on a conical sheet metal frame that held six turbine blades, or flanges, that were narrow at the point of the conical frame and progressively broadened until they reached the rear of the frame. At that point the blades were bent so that they folded around the rear of the frame and served to strengthen the entire structure. The governor function was realized by bending a portion of the vane that projected beyond the rear of the turbine wheel. As the speed of the wind increased the bent portion of the vane applied force to the shaft of the turbine wheel so as to turn it to a shallower angle to the wind, thus spilling some of the force of the wind and keeping the windmill under control. Provisions were made for adjusting the amount of bend in the vane to accommodate varying local conditions of wind strength. A weighted cord attached to the vane's arm and extending to ground level allowed the user to lock the governor-vane at a 90 degree angle to the turbine wheel shaft. This would stop the windmill entirely.
The patent model is constructed of wood and metal and is mounted on a wooden base. The model is painted red, white, and blue. The governor-fan is labelled “J. Benson.” The model illustrates the main elements of the patent including the turbine wheel and flange designs, the crankshaft, and the governor-fan. In its current condition, the model’s governor-fan has been straightened whereas a key element of the patent was the simple governor mechanism of bending the rear portion of the fan. The model also includes a thread representing the rope extending to the base of the windmill tower used to engage and disengage the windmill.
Location:
Currently not on view
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Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Patent Models
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Ayer's Patent Model of a Refrigerator Car - 1876

Inventor:
Ayer, John M.
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 6 3/4 in x 14 5/8 in x 5 3/8 in; 17.145 cm x 37.1475 cm x 13.6525 cm
Object Name:
refrigerator car, model
patent model, refrigerator car
Place made:
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Associated place:
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Date made:
1876
Patent date:
1876-11-07
Subject:
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Patent Models
Railroads
Transportation
Patent Models
ID Number:
ER*325597
Accession number:
249602
Catalog number:
325597
Patent number:
184,029
Description:
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 184,029 issued to John M. Ayer on November 7, 1876. Ayer’s invention was a design for a railroad refrigerator car that would have improved insulation properties while also being lighter than other cars of the time. The ultimate goal of the improved design was to allow longer shipments of perishable goods without the cost and delay of ice replenishment. Ayer claimed that these goals were achieved without sacrifice in the strength or durability of the car. The basic idea of the patent was to create a double-walled car in which the inner and outer walls of the car were separated by air chambers. The roof of the car also had an air chamber between it and the inner ceiling. The air chambers were interconnected and vented to the outside air so as to permit circulation. This reduced the heating of the insulating air by prolonged contact with the exterior walls and roof when exposed to direct sun. The outer wall and roof were constructed of wood. The inner walls and ceiling were made from a layer of pasteboard (or similar paper product) and a layer of rubber . Both of these materials provided additional insulation, and the inner walls and ceiling were intended to be nearly air tight. The patent provided for double entry doors, and these were constructed of an outer layer of wood with an inner layer of the same pasteboard and rubber. The doors had beveled edges with the inner surfaces being smaller than the outer. The inner rubber surfaces were shaped to form a seal when the doors were secured thus adding to the airtightness of the car. Cars of Ayer’s design were constructed and used on railroads and were documented as still being used in 1903.
The patent model is constructed of wood. There are two cut away sections, one on the side of the car and one on the roof. These show the essential elements of the patent - the air chambers and the inner wall and ceiling of the car. Double doors mounted in the side of the car are shown open to illustrate the seals and beveled edges.
Location:
Currently not on view
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Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Patent Models
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Patent Model for Bed-and-Platen Printing Press

Maker:
Adams, Isaac
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 24.6 cm x 53.5 cm x 19.5 cm; 9 11/16 in x 21 1/16 in x 7 11/16 in
overall: 24.6 cm x 62 cm x 19.5 cm; 9 11/16 in x 24 13/32 in x 7 11/16 in
Object Name:
patent model; press, printing
Date made:
1830
ca 1830
Patent date:
1830-10-04
Subject:
Work
Industry & Manufacturing
Communications
Patent Models, Graphic Arts
Patent Models
ID Number:
GA*11024
Accession number:
48865
Catalog number:
GA*11024
Patent number:
6178X
Description (Brief):
This patent model demonstrates an invention for a double bed-and-platen power press with a frisket at each end and is considered an unnumbered patent. The bed was raised by toggles beneath against the fixed platen. This patent provided the basis for the single-ended Adams Power Press, a well-loved iron machine later produced by R. Hoe & Co. In the 1870s it was still considered to produce finer letterpress work than any other machine on the market. It was pre-eminently a book press. Isaac Adams (1803-1883), with no schooling but ample inventive genius, introduced his power press at the age of 25 and derived his living from its success.
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Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Patent Models
Patent Models, Graphic Arts
Exhibition:
Inventing In America
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Baldwin's Patent Model of a Flexible Beam Locomotive - ca 1842

Inventor:
Baldwin, Matthias W.
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 7 1/8 in x 9 3/4 in x 7 3/8 in; 18.0975 cm x 24.765 cm x 18.7325 cm
Object Name:
patent model, locomotive
Associated place:
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Date made:
ca 1842
Patent date:
1842-08-25
Subject:
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Locomotives
Steam Engines
Patent Models
Transportation
Patent Models
ID Number:
TR*251274
Catalog number:
251274
Patent number:
2,759
Accession number:
48865
Description:
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 2,759 issued to Matthias W. Baldwin on August 25, 1842. Baldwin’s invention was a design for a flexible beam truck for the driving wheels of a locomotive. The goal of the design was to increase the proportion of the engine’s total weight resting on driven wheels thus improving traction and thereby the ability of the engine to pull heavier loads. While then existing locomotives had multiple driven axles, their designs made them unsuitable for use on the tight curves that were common on American railroads at the time. Baldwin’s design allowed for multiple driving wheel axles to be coupled together in a manner that would allow each axle to move independently so as to conform to both to sharp curves and to vertical irregularities in the tracks. The “flexible beam” referred to heavy iron beams that were connected to each side of the engine’s frame with a vertical, spherical pin so that they could pivot horizontally and vertically in relation to the frame. The beams on each side of the frame moved independently of each other. At each end of the beams were journal boxes for the axles, and these boxes were constructed to an earlier Baldwin patent with cylindrical pedestals that allowed them to rotate vertically inside the beam. The result was that when rounding a curve one driving axle could move laterally in one direction while the other axle could move independently in the other direction thus adapting the wheels to the curve while at the same time keeping the axles parallel to each other. The coupling rods were made with ball-and-socket joints to allow them to adapt to the varying geometry due to lateral axle motion. While this geometry would also result in the coupling rod lengths varying as the axles moved laterally, in actual use the variation was very small – on the order of 1/32 of an inch – and was allowed for via a designed-in slackness in the bearings. The patent was applied by Baldwin to a large number of engines manufactured up until 1859 when the design was superseded by heavier and more advanced engines.
The patent model is constructed of wood and metal and is mounted on rails attached to a wooden base. A brass plate attached to the boiler is inscribed with “M.W. Baldwin Philadelphia.” The boiler is painted wood as are the cylinders and coupling rods. The engine frame is steel, and the wheel rims are made of brass. The key element of the patent, the flexible beams are present on the front two axles. The beams and leaf springs are made of wood. The vertical pins appear to be made of steel. While the axle journal boxes are shown it appears the details of the cylindrical pedestals and other moving parts are not modelled.
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Patent Models
Exhibition:
Inventing In America
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Howe’s Patent Model of a Pin Making Machine - ca 1841

Inventor:
Howe, John I.
Physical Description:
brass (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 14 in x 13 in x 12 1/2 in; 35.56 cm x 33.02 cm x 31.75 cm
Object Name:
patent model, pin making machine
Place made:
United States: Connecticut
Associated place:
United States: Connecticut, Derby
Date made:
ca 1841
Patent date:
1841-03-24
Subject:
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Patent Models
Manufacturing
Patent Models
ID Number:
MC*308788
Catalog number:
308788
Accession number:
89797
Patent number:
2,013
Description:
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 2,013 issued to John Ireland Howe on March 24, 1841. Howe’s invention was a design for an automated common pin making machine. The goal of the design was to improve upon his earlier patented pin making machine which had not found commercial success. His design was mechanically very complex; the patent document comprised 20 pages of detailed text and five of diagrams. Howe had been a physician working in the New York Alms House where he had observed the inmates making pins by hand. He began to experiment with machinery for automating the process and sought the help of Robert Hoe, a printing press builder, to provide mechanical expertise. His design was for a machine that would take a roll of wire, cut the wire for each pin to proper length, sharpen and polish the pointed end of the pin, and finally form the other end into a metal head. The machine consisted of a series of individual chucks (devices much like on lathes) mounted radially on a vertical shaft that rotated inside a horizontal circular frame. Around the circumference of the frame were mounted various tools that shaped the pins. As the vertical shaft rotated, it brought the chucks into alignment with the tools. One type of tool was the point forming file, or mill. The chuck, which was rotating along the axis of the pin, would make the pin tip contact the file thus grinding it into shape. The file was also rotating as well as moving forward, backwards, and side-to-side in a complex manner so as to produce a point which was round, smooth, free from angles, and slightly convex in shape. Howe made provisions for multiple such tools to progressively shape the point. The other major tool was the head forming mechanism. A carrier removed the pin from its chuck and inserted its blunt end into a set of gripping jaws that held it into a set of dies. The dies formed a thickened section of metal at the end of the pin. A second carrier extracted the pin and inserted the thickened section into a second set of dies which then flattened and formed the final pin head. The machines made from the patent design enabled the Howe Manufacturing Company become one of the largest pin manufacturers in the United States.
The patent model is constructed primary of metal and is about one foot square and one foot tall. It represents the essential elements of the design such as the rotating set of chucks mounted on the vertical shaft, the sharpening mills, and the head making mechanisms. It shows how the rotating table brings the pins to the point sharpening mills. While it is uncertain that the model would be capable of actual pin production, it appears that turning the attached hand crank would cause the machine to go through the motions of actual pin production.
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Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
Patent Models
Exhibition:
Inventing In America
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Smith’s Patent Model of a Windmill - 1878

Inventor:
Smith, Elijah S.
Physical Description:
tin (overall material)
wood (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 11 1/2 in x 9 3/4 in x 11 7/8 in; 29.21 cm x 24.765 cm x 30.1625 cm
Object Name:
patent model, windmill
Place made:
United States: Illinois
Associated place:
United States: Illinois, Good Hope
Date made:
1878
Patent date:
1878-09-17
Subject:
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Wind energy
Patent Models
Natural Resources
Agriculture
Patent Models
ID Number:
MC*309137
Catalog number:
309137
Accession number:
89797
Patent number:
208,208
Description:
This model was filed with the application to the U.S. Patent Office for Patent Number 208,208 issued to Elijah H. Smith on September 17, 1878. His invention was an improved design for a windmill with folding sails. The concept of the folding sail windmill was not new. In fact Mr. Smith had received an earlier patent for such a windmill. Folding sails allowed the windmill to automatically regulate its speed in varying wind strengths. As the wind increased the individual arms and sails would progressively fold up to present less area to the wind, thus acting as a governor. Once completely folded the windmill had little more cross section to the wind than would a windmill with a single arm and two sails. In Smith’s first folding sail design the maximum angle between its eight sails was limited by leather straps interconnecting each sail arm. Speed was then controlled by an auxiliary sail attached to the sails on the inner most sail arm. This auxiliary sail was loosely held down onto its host sail by a spring. As the wheel speed became greater the spring was overcome and the auxiliary sail would open to an angle of 90 degrees to the plane of the primary sail. This caused the inner arm and sails to slow until it was behind the next outer arm and sails, and this was repeated for the rest of the arms and sails until the wheel was folded. At that point little more than two sails face the wind and the speed of the wheel would be at a minimum. Smith included a braking wheel on the hub of the inner most arm and sail set. A wooden lever was pivoted at the front of the cross-head and could be pulled down by a rope led to the base of the windmill, thus making the lever contact the brake wheel and stop the windmill. There were two new elements in Smith’s 1878 patent. The first was to replace the function of the leather straps that controlled arm and sail spacing with a new design for the hubs at the center of each arm. Each hub had metal projections on its circumference that limited the motion of the next arm to an angle of 30 degrees to it. The outer-most arm was secured in place with a set screw on the shaft. This allowed the six arms to be evenly spaced around the wheel when fully extended. Folding of the wheel in heavy wind was controlled as in the earlier patent. The second new element was a modification of the braking mechanism. The tail-board beam was pivoted at the rear of the cross-head. This allowed the front of the beam to move upward to contact the brake wheel, and the weight of the tail-board was sufficient to apply friction and stop the windmill. A rod attached to the front of the brake lever was led to the base of the windmill and could be drawn down and pinned to disable the brake for normal operation.
The patent model is constructed of wood and metal and is mounted on a wooden base. The model illustrates the main elements of the patent including the hubs controlling the spacing of the arms when extended and the braking mechanism. The model also includes a thread representing the rope extending to the base of the windmill tower used to engage the braking mechanism. Not represented on the model is the auxiliary sail used to fold the windmill to govern speed in high winds.
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Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Patent Models
Exhibition:
Inventing In America
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Invention for Improvement in Sewing Machines

Maker:
Blanchard, Helen A.
Physical Description:
metal (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 17.5 cm x 20 cm x 42 cm; 6 7/8 in x 7 7/8 in x 16 17/32 in
Object Name:
sewing machine
Date made:
1873
Patent date:
1873-08-19
Subject:
Work
Industry & Manufacturing
Family & Social Life
Domestic Furnishings
Invention and the Patent Model
Patent Models
ID Number:
TE*T06433.000
Catalog number:
T06433.000
Accession number:
89797
Description (Brief):
Blanchard’s improvement in “Sewing-Machines” used the buttonhole stitch. She is best remembered for another overstitch sewing invention, the “zig zag.”
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Home and Community Life: Textiles
Patent Models
Invention and the Patent Model
Exhibition:
Inventing In America
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Patent Model for Simplex Slide Rule Clasp Invented by Rudolph C. Smith

Maker:
Smith, Rudolph C.
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
paper (part material)
brass (part material)
Measurements:
overall: 26 cm x 2.8 cm x .8 cm; 10 1/4 in x 1 3/32 in x 5/16 in
Object Name:
slide rule
Place made:
United States: New York, Yonkers
Date made:
1887
Subject:
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
Slide Rules
Rule, Calculating
Patent Models
ID Number:
MA*308973
Catalog number:
308973
Accession number:
89797
Description:
This ten-inch, linear one-sided slide rule has scales on the base labeled 3 and 2. On one side of the slide, scales are labeled 4 and 1. On the other side are scales labeled S and T and a scale of equal parts, which divides each inch into 50 increments. The 4, 1, and 2 scales are identical, divided logarithmically from 1 to 10 twice (like the A and B scales on a Mannheim slide rule). The 3 scale is graduated logarithmically once from 1 to 10 (like the C and D scales on a Mannheim rule, although the numbers on this scale are marked with superscript 2s; i.e. 22).
Under the slide is a scale of centimeters numbered from 27 to 51 and divided to millimeters. The upper edge of the instrument is beveled and has a scale of inches divided to 32nds of an inch. The front edge has a scale of centimeters numbered from 1 to 25 and divided to millimeters.
There is also a brass clasp (detached at present) that holds three paper strips underneath the instrument, so that they may be pulled or fanned out for reference. Smith submitted this model when he patented this clasp in 1887. The strips contain 39 sets of formulas and conversion factors useful to civil engineers, including the weight and strength of materials and the power of engines and pumps. Smith copyrighted these strips in 1884 and 1886. See also his pamphlet, Smith's Slide Rule Formulæ ([New York, 1884]).
Rudolph Charles Smith of Yonkers, N.Y., received more than twenty patents for elevator components and slide rules from the 1880s to 1912. He apparently worked for Otis Brothers & Co., since many of the patents were assigned to that firm or to National Company of Illinois, which merged with Otis Brothers and other firms in 1898 to form the Otis Elevator Company. Elisha Otis started the company in 1853 as Union Elevator Works to sell his safety elevator. His sons, Norton and Charles, adopted the Otis Brothers name in 1864.
According to an order form dated January 1889 held by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Smith's Patent Calculator sold in four forms. One had attached slips with formulae of interest to civil engineers, a second had formulae for marine engineers, a third had formulae for mechanical engineers, and a fourth was intended for "assayers, chemists, scientists, students." The instrument cost 50 cents with one set of attachments or 75 cents with all four sets. This example appears to be the instrument for civil engineers. An unsigned review of Florian Cajori's 1909 history of the slide rule criticized Cajori for ignoring Smith's contributions to popularizing the slide rule and educating Americans in its use.
References: Rudolph C. Smith, "Attachment for Calculating Scales" (U.S. Patent 357,346 issued February 8, 1887), "Slide-Rule for Logarithmic Calcuations" (U.S. Patent 450,640 issued April 21, 1891), "Calculating-Scale" (U.S. Patent 592,067 issued October 19, 1897), "Calculating-Scale" (U.S. Patent 746,888 issued December 15, 1903), "Calculating-Scale" (U.S. Patent 1,014,344 issued January 9, 1912); Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents for the Year 1891 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1892), 339; Practical Applications of Smith's Electro-Calculator (New York, 1894); R. C. Smith, The International Book of Shorthand Computation ([New York, 1900]); "Elevator Trust Sued," New York Times, March 8, 1906; review of A History of the Logarithmic Slide Rule and Allied Instruments by Florian Cajori, Mines and Minerals 30, no. 12 (July 1910): 740.
Location:
Currently not on view
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Slide Rules
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Muybridge Patent Model

Maker:
Muybridge, Eadweard
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 12 in x 12 in x 12 in; 30.48 cm x 30.48 cm x 30.48 cm
Object Name:
shutter
Place Made:
United States: California, Palo Alto
Date made:
1879
Subject:
Photography
ID Number:
PG*0754
Catalog number:
754
Accession number:
48866
Description:
A pioneer in the development of the photography of motion, 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge worked to photograph humans or animals in motion. Muybridge's patent for the Method and Apparatus for Photographing Objects in Motion (No. 212, 865, Patented March 4, 1879) documented Muybridge's sliding-shutter mechanism and background panel used to photograph a horse in rapid motion "in order to determine the posture, position, and relation of their limbs in different proportions of their step or stride." The patent model is built in two different scales, showing the camera slides at one side and the track/grid background concept (with heavy thread trip cord) on the other. The horse would travel between them.
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Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Exhibition:
Inventing In America
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Patent Model for Combined Mechanical Pencil and Length Measure Invented by Joseph A. Fresco

Patentee:
Fresco, Joseph A.
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
brass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 1.1 cm x 10.6 cm x 2.3 cm; 7/16 in x 4 3/16 in x 29/32 in
Object Name:
rule with mechanical pencil
measuring device
Place made:
France: Pays de la Loire, Angers
Date made:
1879
Patent date:
1879-12-16
Subject:
Scale Rules
Measuring & Mapping
Patent Models
Science & Mathematics
Mathematics
ID Number:
MA*315274
Accession number:
219305
Catalog number:
315274
Description:
Joseph André Fresco of Angers, France, applied for a patent on a combination pencil and line-measurer on June 6, 1879. The model he submitted with his application was found in the Smithsonian collections in 1958. It consists of a rectangular brass tube with a round dial at one end and a pencil holder at the other. A gear on the pencil holder causes it to extend and retract. The pencil holder is marked: J FRANK. The dial has a magnetic compass encased in glass on one side, but the needle does not point toward North and appears not to be magnetized.
The other side of the dial has two intersecting circles marked in pencil, one divided to single units and numbered by fives from 0 to 20 and one divided to single units and numbered by ones from 0 to 10. Each circle has a wire for counting. A gear protrudes from the top of the dial case. The user was to run the gear along a map or scaled drawing. The counters would then measure up to 200 km on the drawing. The gear and counters do function on this instrument, both forwards and backwards, but probably not in a uniform manner.
A paper tag is marked: [2–225.] (/) No. 222,687 1879. (/) J. A. Fresco (/) Combined Penc (/) –il and Line Meas (/) –ures (/) Patented Dec. 16 (/) Rotary (/) measure (/) 1879. The patent drawing is pasted to the back of the tag. A second tag is marked: 79 Joseph A. Fresco (/) Stadio Curvimeter (/) Received June 3 (/) Issue.
According to the 1861 English census, Fresco was born in April 1854 in St. Giles, London. He worked in Angers, France, as a mechanical dentist. In 1879 he communicated with inventor William Robert Lake of London, who designed a similar device entitled "An Improved Instrument or Apparatus for the Linear Measurements of Drawings or Plans."
References: Joseph A. Fresco, "Improvement in Combined Pencil and Line Measurer" (U.S. Patent 222,687 issued December 16, 1879); The Commissioners of Patents' Journal, no. 2637 (April 11, 1879): 896.
Location:
Currently not on view
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Whiteley Harvester Patent Model

Inventor:
Whiteley, William N.
Object Name:
patent model, harvester
Associated place:
United States: Ohio, Springfield
Patent date:
1877-11-13
Subject:
Industry & Manufacturing
Agriculture
American Enterprise
ID Number:
AG*197192
Accession number:
89797
Catalog number:
197192
Patent number:
197,192
Description:
This model accompanied the patent application for William N. Whiteley’s improvement in harvesters that received patent number 197,192 on November 13, 1877. The combined reaper and mower had a single large wheel with a driver’s seat to steer the horses and manipulate the mower, reaper, or rake attachments This harvester model was manufactured under the brand name “Champion.” The Champion was sold by a variety of company’s across the country from its home in Springfield, Ohio which is still known as the “Champion City.”
A reaper is a machine for harvesting grain crops, especially wheat. Drawn by horses (or a tractor), a reaper uses a large blade to cut wheat stalks. Early reapers required farmers to rake wheat off the machine by hand. On self-raking models, automatic rakes pushed the wheat across a platform and deposited it on the ground in bunches. Workers followed the reaper, gathering and tying bundles of wheat, called “sheaves.” They stacked the sheaves into piles, called “stooks,” for protection from wind and rain. Later, workers threshed and winnowed the wheat to remove edible grains from the inedible chaff.
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Work and Industry: Agriculture
American Enterprise
Exhibition:
American Enterprise
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Friedman Injector, Patent Model

Inventor:
Friedmann, Alexander
Physical Description:
brass (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 8 1/4 in x 11 in x 6 3/8 in; 20.955 cm x 27.94 cm x 16.1925 cm
Object Name:
steam pump, model
patent model, pump, steam
Place made:
Österreich
Associated place:
Österreich: Wien, Vienna
Date made:
1869
Patent date:
1869-04-06
Subject:
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Work
Industry & Manufacturing
Bulletin 173
Related Publication:
Frank A. Taylor. Catalog of the Mechanical Collections of the Division of Engineering United States National Museum, Bulletin 173
ID Number:
ER*308679
Accession number:
89797
Catalog number:
308679
Patent number:
88,620
Description:
This model was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office with the application for the patent issued to Alexander Friedman, of Vienna, Austria, April 6, 1869, no. 88620.
The model represents a steam injector designed for elevating or forcing water and reducing the shock produced by the sudden condensation of steam when brought into contact with the water.
The injector is of the usual form with the addition of a small auxiliary steam jet, or ejector, which serves to draw water into the mixing chamber before the main steam valve is opened. A safety cock is also provided, which permits a part of the water to escape as the pressure is being raised to the degree sufficient to overcome the resistance against which the injector is working.
Reference:
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.
Location:
Currently not on view
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Bulletin 173
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Telegraph Key Patent Model

Maker:
Crandall, Lucien S.
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
gutta percha (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 6 in x 2 1/2 in x 1 in; 15.24 cm x 6.35 cm x 2.54 cm
Object Name:
telegraph key
Date made:
1875
Subject:
Communications
Telegraph Keys
ID Number:
EM*308883
Catalog number:
308883
Accession number:
89797
Patent number:
168144
Description (Brief):
Telegraph keys are electrical on-off switches used to send messages in Morse code. The message travels as a series of electrical pulses through a wire. The sequence and duration of pulses represent letters and numbers. This patent model shows Lucien Crandall's design for an automatic key. His idea involved a key for each letter, number and character, set on a frame like a typewriter. Each key included a ratcheted wheel with conducting and insulated segments around the edge. When the operator pressed a key, the wheel rotated and generated morse code pulses at a regular speed. His goal was to permit operators to send messages, "with greater rapidity, uniformity, and certainty than with the common telegraphic key."
Location:
Currently not on view
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Electricity
Telegraph Keys
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Hansen Writing Ball Patent Model

Maker:
Hansen, Hans R. M. J.
Inventor:
Hansen, Hans R. M. J.
Physical Description:
mahogany (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 5 in x 12 1/2 in x 10 in; 12.7 cm x 31.75 cm x 25.4 cm
Object Name:
patent model, typewriter
Associated place:
Danmark: København, Copenhagen
Date made:
1872-04-23
Patent date:
1872-04-23
Subject:
Computers & Business Machines
Typewriters
ID Number:
ME*308874
Catalog number:
308874
License number:
125,952
Accession number:
89797
Patent number:
125,952
Description:
This typewriter patent model accompanied the patent application of Hans R. Malling J. Hansen of Copenhagen, Denmark in his patent application that received patent number 125,952 on April 23, 1872. The model only shows a portion of the machine, with three letters in the “type-ball.” This patent was one of the earlier designs of Hansen’s unique writing ball typewriter. In his patent Hansen claimed the combination of converging types arranged circularly that met at the same point. Hansen also claimed the use of a spring or electro-magnet as a means of paper carriage movement. The electromagnet in the typewriter operated by closing the circuit on each descent of the type before it makes it impression on the paper. Closing the circuit causes an attraction of the armature of the magnet, moving the drum before the type hits. After the drum moved a full line, the mechanism would move it down a line.
Location:
Currently not on view
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Typewriters
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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Sholes, Glidden, & Soule Typewriter Patent Model

Inventor:
Sholes, C. Latham
Glidden, Carlos
Soule, Samuel W.
Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 5 1/4 in x 12 1/4 in x 12 1/8 in; 13.335 cm x 31.115 cm x 30.7975 cm
Object Name:
patent model, typewriter
Associated place:
United States: Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Date made:
1868-06
Patent date:
1868-06-23
Subject:
Typewriters
Computers & Business Machines
ID Number:
ME*251210
Catalog number:
251210
License number:
79265
Accession number:
48865
48865
Patent number:
79,265
Description:
This Sholes, Glidden, & Soule typewriter patent model was awarded patent number 79,265 on June 23rd, 1868. C. Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel Soule were living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when they began to make progress towards a commercially viable type-writing machine after several aborted attempts. The improvements named in this patent include a “better way of working type bars, of holding the paper on the carriage, of moving and regulating the movement of the carriage, of holding and applying the inking ribbon, a self adjusting platen, and a rest or cushion for the type-bars.” Many early typewriters used piano keys in their designs, including this model with only six keys.
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Typewriters
Exhibition:
Inventing In America
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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