U.S.S. Monitor Engine

Even though the U. S. S. Monitor has no connection with the 31st Indiana I am interested in other aspects of the Civil War. My interest in the U. S. S. Monitor stems from my engineering background. The Monitor was designed by John Ericsson with the ship being built in under 100 days in late 1861 to 1862.  Several patentable items were incorporated into this ship, the turret being the most notable. 

The steam engine was a unique design which has drawn my interest.  The engine is called a "vibrating lever engine".  It consists of two horizontal cylinders, both in one casting.  The pistons have a half "trunk" which is a cylindrical sleeve which covers most of the connecting rod from the piston pin to the vibrating lever shaft at the outer ends.  I used a cad program to make a basic end view of the engine in a "see-through" drawing and eventually made an animation of the engine. The below drawing shows a static view with labels of the significant parts of the engine and the 2nd is an animated view.

To see an accurate photo of how the engine actually looked go to the web site of Rich Carlstedt's 1/16th model of the engine.  It is truly amazing. Here is the link:  Rich Carlstedt's stationary steam engines

Other Links:


The actual dimensions are listed below: 1

Diameter of the cylinder, 40 inches
Diameter of the half trunk, 13 1/2 "
Stroke of the piston, 22 "
Length of main connecting rod between centers, 53 1/2 "
Length between centers of connecting link in half trunk, 46 1/2 "
Length between centers of the vibrating lever worked by the steam piston, 24 "
Length between centers of the vibrating lever which works the main connecting rod, 44 "
Length of crank between centers, 20 1/2 "
    1  Experimental Researches in Steam Engineering by Chief Engineer Benjamin F. Isherwood, U.S. Navy, Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering, Navy Department.  1863.

This site was written by:
Dennis Hutchinson

Copyright 1998 - 2016 by Dennis Hutchinson. All Rights Reserved. This site may be freely linked to, but not duplicated in any fashion except by the author's consent. When permission is given, this copyright statement must remain with the document.

Last Update January, 2016

I am interested in anything connected with the 31st Indiana Vol. Infantry, or if you have any questions please feel free to contact me by E-Mail.

I am especially interested in photos of soldiers from the 31st Indiana in their wartime clothing.  I am also interested in any letters, diaries, or biographical information on 31st Indiana soldiers

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