A Novel Steam Engine

The Railway and Engineering Review

A UNIQUE idea has been worked out by a Des Moines, Iowa, inventor, whereby the boiler of a steam engine is practically avoided. The general principle of the engine is this: That while in the ordinary engine but a small quantity of steam is being used at any one time, yet a great quantity of fuel is necessary in order to keep a large volume of water continually boiling to provide the necessary steam. In the present instance there is no boiler proper, there being substituted therefor a small quantity of water in the lower end of what might be called the steam chest proper, though here called a boiler.

Operating in this boiler is a long, hollow piston, lacking about one thirty-second of an inch of fitting to the sides of the boiler, thus leaving room for a steam cushion all the way around it, and also making it possible for the condensed steam to run down the sides. A rod connected with this piston passes up through the centre of another piston, which operates in a vacuum cylinder above the boiler and is geared direct to the fly wheel.

The upper piston above referred to fits absolutely airtight in the vacuum cylinder, and is geared to the shaft in the usual crank manner. As the steam piston is forced up, it forces the upper piston up, leaving a vacuum, which draws it back again, thus giving, in addition to the steam power of from forty-five to sixty pounds pressure, the additional fifteen pounds pressure of the atmosphere in the vacuum.

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