Animated Engines, Crankless


Substitute Engine

Like the Coomber, this engine
also came from Marlyn Hadley’s wonderful book.6  I can do no better
than to quote him: 
This elaborate arrangement of gears and
linkages enabled the builder to eliminate the crank as we know it.
While this engine required more labor to construct, it did make a
compact engine which did not require a heavy crosshead as the connecting
rod connection on the bar between the two gears moves but a very small
amount.  This means the piston rod guides can be made of a lighter
I do not know who invented it, when, or what prompted the inventor
to think this arrangement is better than a crank…


5/23/01 update:A few visitors have noted that there was actually a patent on the crank
mechanism in the very early days of steam technology.  This may have
been the reason for the oddball design, but I still don’t have a
definitive source of information.  If anyone knows of a good book on
the subject, please e-mail!

2000, Matt Keveney. All rights reserved.


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