The prototype of this engine, built in 1805 or 1806 to pump water, is on display at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The engine was discovered by Henry Ford in 1928 at The Bradley Foundry in Stourbridge, England.
It features Murray's 1802 invention of the Hypocycloidal Gear motion which converts the linear force of the piston and rod movement to rotary motion driving the pumps and flywheel.
Murray developed this method to circumvent the control of steam machinery by the many patents held by James Watt's company, Bolton & Watt. (See some details at the French Beam Engine Page). This engine also exhibits Murray's creation of the portable (deliver by ox cart!), and fabricated Cast Iron (no wood or foundations) engine, to save installation costs. It also features his invention (1802) of the short stroke "D" valve....still used today! Note the compactness of this design. The A frame provides a rigid framework for the two "variable displacement" water pumps. The pump outputs are delivered to the dome shaped receiver which smoothes out pulsation's of the single action pumps (180 degrees out of phase). By moving the pump crank blocks on the throw of the geared reduction shaft, the pump volume and pressure could be changed, making it a variable displacement pump. In addition, Matthew Murray invented the first "tapered bearing" which is used in the pinion gear for ease of maintenance. This engine was considered to be very sophisticated for its day.
Photo by Rich Carlstedt: 1975
Only one of it's kind exists. However another Hypocycloidal Engine by Murray is displayed at the Birmingham, England Science Museum but, it has no pumps and is much simpler in construction.
Hypocycloidal Pumping Engine
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Richard Carlstedt All rights reserved.
Model Steam Engines