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James Leffel and Company Records

Creator:
James Leffel and Company  Search this
Collector:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of History of Technology  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Work and Industry  Search this
Extent:
20 Cubic feet (42 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Blueprints
Business records
Charts
Clippings
Correspondence
Drawings
Order books
Patents
Photographs
Specifications
Trade catalogs
Glass plate negatives
Place:
Springfield (Ohio)
Date:
circa 1848-1976
Summary:
Collection documents James Leffel and Company of Springfield, Ohio, manufacturer of turbines, water wheels and engines.
Scope and Contents:
The records contain business and legal records; correspondence; patents and patent files; specifications; charts; blueprints; mechanical drawings and original catalog art; photographs and negatives; catalogs, and clippings documenting James Leffel and Company.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1974-1978

Series 2: Patent Materials, 1848-1931

Series 3: Testing Data, 1913-1966, bulk 1920s

Series 4: Catalogs, 1870-1946

Series 5: Catalog Artwork, 1919-1959

Series 6: Trade Literature, 1890s-1976

Series 7: Photographs, 1908-1929

Series 7: Writings and Journal Articles, 1881-1854

Series 8: Glass Plate Negatives, 1890s-1950s, undated
Biographical:
James Leffel was born in 1806 in Botetourt County, Virginia to John and Catherine Leffel. The family moved to Ohio, settling near Springfield. where John Leffel established saw and grist mills. Leffel grew up surrounded by mills and and developed a strong interest in water wheels. Leffel trained as a millwright acquiring skills in metal work to make sickles, knives, and other small iron implements. In the late 1830s, Leffel established his first foundry and machine shop near Springfield, Ohio, quickly expanding and taking on two partners, William A. John and T.Y. Ferrell and adding mill gearing and stoves to their line of products. By 1845, Leffel ended his business relationship with John and Ferrell and formed a partnership with William Blackeney, a machinist who helped him support the foundry and its work. In 1846, Andrew Richards joined Leffel to build a cotton mill and machine shop. Leffel envisioned the utilization of water power in Springfield. Ohio, with the establishment of mills along a race--a dug channel leading from a creek or river to the mill--that would eventually bring trade. With the help of Samuel and James Barnett, gristmill operators, Leffel was able to "cut a race" and erect a Water Power and Flouring Mill. Leffel was especially interested in water wheel development and would receive patent US34,150 for a water wheel (1862) which later reissued as RE1791 and RE1792 in 1864.

Leffel also patented cooking stoves (US6775) in 1849 which became known as the "Buckeye," "Double Oven" and "Red Cook Stove" that were successful and earned him a strong reputation. In 1852, Leffel broke with Richards, and Nathaniel Cook, a machinist, joined Leffel and Blackeney. With his 1862 patent for a water wheel, Leffel focused his attention on demonstrating the water wheel and speaking about its productive uses. Numerous test runs of the water wheel convinced Leffel that he could sell the wheel to mills and factory operators. Leffel marketed the wheel as the "American Double Turbine" an efficient, cheap turbine for the mass market (Layton page 86 ). In 1863, Leffel and Blackeney formed a new firm, along with Perry Betchel and Leander Mudge to create a foundry designed solely for the production of the wheel. Leffel later joined forces with John Foos, a mill operator and James S. Goode, a lawyer, to form the James Leffel and Company. Leffel sold his water wheel to flour mills, woolen goods manufacturers, paper mills and farm equipment manufacturers. The company became one of the leading manufacturers of waterwheels and turbines and today continues to operate under the name of James Leffel and Company as part of Canyon Hydro which acquired the company in 2019.

Leffel died in 1866.

Source

Becker, Carl M. "James Leffel: Double Turbiner Water Wheel Inventor, Ohio History, Volume 75, No. 4, Autumn 1966, pages 200-211.

Layton, Edwin. "Scientific Technology, 1845-1900: The Hydraulic Turbine and the Origins of American Industrial Research," Technology and Culture, January 1979, Vol. 20, No. 1, pages 64-89.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Smithsonian

Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Trade Literature Collection

Pelton Water Wheel Collection, NMAH.AC.1093

Lombard Governor Company Records, NMAH.AC.1091

Niagara Falls Power Company Photographs, NMAH.AC.0949

J. & W. Jolly Company Records, NMAH.AC.1009

Uriah Boyden Papers, NMAH.AC.0982

William R. Hutton Papers, NMAH.AC.0987

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Waterworks

Materials at Other Organizations

Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

James Leffel & Company Records, 1867-1971

The James Leffel and Company Records consist of ledgers, journals, order books, inventories, cash and day books, payroll files, correspondence, photographs, publications, and scrapbooks of a late 19th and early 20th century Springfield, Ohio manufacturer of turbines, water wheels and engines.

Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio

James Leffel and Company Records, 1845-1890

Records of water-wheel company of Springfield, Ohio including a letter press book, notebook of hydraulic tables, and patents for water wheels and cooking stoves.
Provenance:
Collected for the National Museum of American History.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Hydraulic turbines  Search this
Steam-boilers  Search this
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Steam-engines  Search this
Valves  Search this
Water-wheels  Search this
Turbines  Search this
Genre/Form:
Blueprints
Business records
Charts
Clippings
Correspondence
Drawings
Order books
Patents
Photographs -- 19th century
Specifications
Trade catalogs
Glass plate negatives
Citation:
James Leffel and Company Records, 1867-1957, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0960
See more items in:
James Leffel and Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8b36140e4-0b0b-4f5c-8c2e-f3cfb0a2abf0
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0960
Online Media:

[Trade catalogs on automatic mechanical stoker ... ]

Author:
Wetzel Mechanical Stoker Company  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<2> v. : ill
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
192u
[192-?]-
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Wetzel (Brand name)  Search this
Call number:
054194
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_733032

[Trade catalogs on stokers, windlasses, barometers, chain indicators, capstans (steam, power, crank), rudder supporters ... ]

Author:
American Ship Windlass Company  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<2> v. : ill
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
1881
1881-
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Windlasses  Search this
Barometers  Search this
Capstan  Search this
Steering-gear  Search this
Taylor (Brand name)  Search this
Call number:
053968
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_719457

[Trade catalogs on locomotive stoker ... ]

Author:
Hanna Locomotive Stoker Co  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<1> v. : ill
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
192u
[192-?]-
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Locomotives--Equipment and supplies  Search this
Hanna (Brand name)  Search this
Call number:
054122
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_720903

[Trade catalogs on Winkler domestic and commercial stokers, Winkler automatic coal burners ... ]

Author:
Winkler Manufacturing Corporation  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<1> v. : ill
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
19uu
[19--?]-
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Coal-fired furnaces  Search this
Call number:
054307
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_738917

[Trade catalogs on stokers, pumps, shears, bending machines, and power presses]

Author:
Frederic Iron & Steel Co  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<43> v. : ill
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
1930
1939
[193-]-
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Pumping machinery  Search this
Power presses  Search this
Frederick (Brand name)  Search this
Call number:
47830
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_468481

[Trade catalogs on automatic coal stokers, oil burner, conversion gas burners, boiler-burner units, standard controls ... ]

Author:
Will-Burt Co  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<54> v. : ill. (some col.)
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
1938
1938?-
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Oil burners  Search this
Gas-burners  Search this
Boilers  Search this
Call number:
46683
46683
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_438432

[Trade catalogs on stokers, monorail and stationary electric hoists, coal-burning combustion systems, steering gear for ships and boats, refrigeration systems, boilers, paper mill engines, hydro-thermal grids, ammonia compressors, furnaces, transmissions, pumps ... ]

Author:
American Engineering Company  Search this
Badenhausen Co  Search this
American Engine Company  Search this
American Ship Windlass Company  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<117> v. : ill. (some col.)
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
1911
1911-
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Hoisting machinery--Electric driving  Search this
Refrigeration and refrigerating machinery--Electric equipment--Catalogs  Search this
Boilers  Search this
Furnaces  Search this
Call number:
047029
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_450637

Royce L. Beers Papers

Creator:
Beers, Royce. L., 1888-  Search this
Former owner:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Cubic feet (4 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Technical reports
Business records
Awards
Articles
Patents
Blueprints
Notebooks
Drawings
Date:
circa 1900-1969
Summary:
Collection documents stokers and fuel burners and includes patents, awards, articles, notebooks, graphs, drawings, tables, and company publications.
Scope and Contents note:
The collection consists of the personal papers of Royce L. Beers, mostly as they relate to his work in mechanical engineering. It includes trade literature, publications, articles, company records and price lists, patents, correspondence, technical reports, tables, graphs, calculations, drawings and sketches, blueprints, research notebooks, field notes, photographs, and prints. Also included are personal and biographical material, such as portraits and documents related to an awards banquet. There are several items of general interest including copies of the Ringlemann scale, a photograph of the Panama Canal Zone, reference to Nestle's Milk Products Company, and an article written by Orville Wright. In addition, there are materials relating to Mrs. Beers' hospital diet.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1, Personal Materials, circa 1900-1969

Series 2, Trade Literature, 1919-1947

Series 3, Publications, 1921-1948, undated

Series 4, Reports, 1917-1946; undated

Series 5, Blueprints, Drawings, Graphs and Tables, 1914-1949,; undated

Series 6, Engineering Research Notebooks, 1913-1945

Series 7, Photographs and Prints, undated

Series 8, Miscellaneous Materials, undated
Biographical/Historical note:
Mechanical engineer.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Railroad Trade Literature Collection NMAH.AC.1136

Central Film Service Collection NMAH.AC.1247

Seymour McIntosh and Company NMAH.AC.0985

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Stoves and Heating Industry NMAH.AC.0060

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Railroads NMAH.AC.0060

Pratt, Read and Corporation Records NMAH.AC.0320

John H. White, Jr. Railroad Reference Collection NMAH.AC.0523

Parke, Davis Research Laboratory Records NMAH.AC.0001

Railroad Trade Literature Collection NMAH.AC.1136
Provenance:
Found in the collection of the Division of the History of Technology.
Restrictions:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Rights:
Collection is open for research
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Power (Mechanics)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Technical reports
Business records -- 20th century
Awards
Articles -- 20th century
Patents
Blueprints
Notebooks -- 1900-1950
Drawings -- 20th century
Citation:
Royce L. Beers Papers, 1900-1969, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0880
See more items in:
Royce L. Beers Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8c94bdd0d-ccac-4352-99c7-860e67c2a46a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0880

Genuine detroit controls for stokers Bulletin no. 62

Author:
Detroit Lubricator Co. (Division of American Radiator & Standard Sanitary Corp.)  Search this
Type:
Books
Trade catalogs
Date:
1933
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Call number:
41522
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_309187

Over 100 models bituminous and anthracite

Author:
Schwitzer-Cummins Co  Search this
Type:
Books
Trade catalogs
Date:
Nd
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Call number:
19386
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_200877

FUEL OIL SHORTAGE..AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Author:
U.S. MACHINE CORP  Search this
Type:
Books
Trade catalogs
Date:
1943
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Call number:
007357
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_175076

ERIE CITY STOKER FIRED OPEN PASS STEAM GENERATORS

Author:
ERIE CITY IRON WORKS  Search this
Type:
Books
Trade catalogs
Date:
1961
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Call number:
008194
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_175778

CHAIN GRATE STOKERS

Author:
BABCOCK & WILCOX CO  Search this
Type:
Books
Trade catalogs
Date:
1914
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Call number:
003027
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_174207

POWER WITH MCCLAVE, STOKERS AND GRATES

Author:
MCCLAVE-BROOKS CO  Search this
Type:
Books
Trade catalogs
Date:
1933
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Call number:
007286
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_175023

[Trade catalogs on mechanical stokers ... ]

Author:
Advance Appliance Co  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<1> v. : ill
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
1940
[1940]-
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Stoker-ola (Brand name)  Search this
Call number:
051297
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_667267

STEEL MIXTURE REFRACTORY DOMESTIC STOKER BAFFLE PLATES W/LETTER & PRICE LIST

Author:
MCLEOD & HENRY CO., INC  Search this
Type:
Books
Trade catalogs
Date:
1938
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Call number:
007282
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_175019

[Trade catalogs on stokers, separators ... ]

Author:
United Machine & Mfg. Co  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<3> v. : ill
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
1922
1922-
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Separators (Machines)  Search this
Harrington (Brand name)  Search this
Mosher (Brand name)  Search this
Call number:
052689
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_686491

[Trade catalogs on heating apparatus : automatic coal stokers, steam-boiler systems, institutional cooking apparatus (wet steam ovens, steam-heated hot closets, steam bain maries), industrial steam and water accessories (rotary and dredger pumps, valves and traps, steam separators, valves, heating units ... ]

Author:
Ashwell & Nesbit, Ltd  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<17> v. : ill. (some col.)
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
193u
[193-?]-
Topic:
Heating equipment industry  Search this
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Steam-boilers  Search this
Pumping machinery  Search this
Steam-separators  Search this
Call number:
053486
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_704806

[Trade catalogs on stokers : worm feed stokers, hydraulic ram type stokers, bake oven stokers, gear cases, three-speed gear cases ... ]

Author:
Auburn Foundry, Inc  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries American History Trade Literature Collection DSI  Search this
Physical description:
<7> v. : ill
Type:
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
1922
1922-
Topic:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Boilers  Search this
Call number:
053466
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_704829

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