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H.R.Worthington Simplex Steam Pump USS MONITOR

WHMonitor

Registered
Hi all,

I'm working in the conservation of objects recovered from the wreck of the USS Monitor at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News Virginia which includes five of the ship's 8 steam engines. Two of the recovered engines are H.R. Worthington Simplex Steam pumps. Over the last several years we having been trying to find other examples of Worthington simplex pumps dating to the 1860's and 70's but have been unable to find any. Does anyone know of where one is at, better yet, a working example? Thanks so much
 

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Brian S.

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/22/2011
We'd like to help... can you supply more info?

Are you familiar with the document I've added a thumbnail image of below? If not, do you wish to have one of us (who has a copy) to look through it? If so, can you be a bit more specific about the name of the company? That is, is it any connection to Worthington Pump? Also, can you be more specific on the engine, like size, etc.?

I'm sorry but I just don't know about the various steam engine makers and how they're related. I know about the super-conglomerate, International Steam Pump, and how they monopolized the industry, and were later broken up by the government (I think). So, let us know if you'd like us to look through our copies of this document.

Brian S.

PS, also try Google's digital books as there are a lot of books from the 1800's with steam-engine info. This link has some info on page 113: http://books.google.com/books?id=ZD...ser by cliff white&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Also, there are books for sale, e.g.: http://www.amazon.com/Worthington-Pump-Handbook-Construction-Application/dp/B000IBDGXY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1324798074&sr=1-1.
 

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Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
Looks like they are doing a good job on the conservation. Has any effort been made to dis-assemble the engines, to see what the interior looks like, or are they too corroded to do that? I know salt water soaks into the pores of cast iron, and works havoc on the metal after it is exposed to air, after long term immersion. The conservation methods can restore the exterior, but does it work internally as well?

Has any work been done on the main propulsion engine? Thanks for your efforts in saving part of our history.:salute:
Andrew:)
 
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survivingworldsteam

Guest
WHMonitor;

I think you may be out of luck on this one. I have been gathering records on surviviving steam pumps for nearly ten years; and have never seen another of these early Worthington simplex steam pumps. I have just the nameplate from a c.1850s Worthington pump; most likely a simplex one. But that and the Monitor's pumps are all I have found that old; the next to oldest pumps are all duplex pumps.

There may be another shipwreck somewhere that also has an early Worthington simplex on board; but that is probably it. That is what makes the Monitor's Worthington pumps just as historically significant as the main engine and turret -- all three are the earliest surviving examples of their technology; and perhaps the sole examples remaining.

Thank you for posting those pictures. I have produced a provisional drawing of what the steam pump my nameplate may have been attached to may have looked like; I see some additional details to add or correct.

Henry R. Worthington formed the Worthington Steam Pump company to produce his newly invented pump in 1845. Over the years, he bought out other companies to eventually become the Worthington Pump and Machinery Company. It became part of Flowserve in the 1970s; the steamboat at Walt Disney World has a pair of Worthington steam pumps with the Flowserve tag on them. But, back when the Monitor's pumps were made; there was just the original factory; and it was just known as Worthington.

 

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Joe K

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
Worthington's earliest pumps were NOT the duplex style. Rather the simplex as he says.

The only pix I've seen of an early simplex Worthington pump is in James Kip Finch's "The Story of Engineering" which has a pix which must have existed as a woodcut prior to publishing of the book in the 1960s. I'm not sure but I think Surviving World Steam may have that pix at their site?

Joe
 
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survivingworldsteam

Guest
Worthington's earliest pumps were NOT the duplex style. Rather the simplex as he says.

The only pix I've seen of an early simplex Worthington pump is in James Kip Finch's "The Story of Engineering" which has a pix which must have existed as a woodcut prior to publishing of the book in the 1960s. I'm not sure but I think Surviving World Steam may have that pix at their site?

Joe
This one?



there is also this one:



The problem with the drawings of early Worthington simplex pumps is that every one I have found is a sectional drawing. The Monitor's Worthington pumps and a single eching showing the Monitor's engine room arrangement gives us our first view of what the outside of these pumps look like.

Comparing the above pictures to the Monitor's Worthington pumps, the steam engine end and the cradle in the middle appear to be very similiar. You can see what appears to have been a damper of some kind for the valve stem under the steam engine intake in front of the valve chest. The hinge for the lever for manually throwing the valve stem over appears to still be covered with marine growth in one of the photographs.

However, Worthington's early simplex pumps had the suction valve plate underneath the pump end, as you can see in the drawings above. By the time the Monitor's Worthington pumps were made, the pump end is very similiar to later simplex pumps, with the valve plates for the both the suction and discharge on top of the pump; which made servicing them possible without taking the entire pump apart.

The manual lever for throwing the valve stem over implies that these early simplex pumps were not reliable self-starters. Henry Worthington invented the duplex pump in 1856 to remedy this problem. This early Worthington duplex still has the early steam pump end with valve plate on the bottom; it is one of the earliest drawings I have found that shows what the outside of an early Worthington pump looks like.



I am of the opinion that once the duplex steam pump was introduced, the early simplex pumps quickly fell out of favor because they did not self-start reliabily. Hence, the only survivors we have today went down on a ship before they were replaced. Worthington did sell simplex pumps at a later date; but they were Knowles type simplex pumps, and not the early Worthington design.

-James Hefner
 

Joe K

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
No, not the pix in the Story of Engineering book. That was an 'external' view and at about 3/4 perspective. A bit crude IIRC.

You got me going now. Somewhere around here is the Finch book and I'll attempt to look it up.

Joe
 

WHMonitor

Registered
Re: We'd like to help... can you supply more info?

Thanks for looking, we have not been able to track one down yet

---------- Post added at 05:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:58 PM ----------

Thanks for the interest, I'll post some other pics soon

---------- Post added at 05:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:01 PM ----------

Have not heard that they know of one

---------- Post added at 05:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:04 PM ----------

Ya, we have been working on the Ericsson Vibrating side-lever steam engine a lot this past year, here a link to the Monitor Conservation Blog http://www.marinersmuseum.org/blogs/ussmonitorcenter/

We have lots of info on the treatment of Monitor artifacts as well as live webcams in the large lab
 

WHMonitor

Registered
The attached image is what as best as I can tell is the actually pump arrangements, of Monitor’s Worthingtons compiled from photos and x-rays. As I understand it, Worthington is attributed with the invention of the direct-acting steam pump as well as the “B”-type slide valve (seen in the steam chest), and the poppet valve arrangement (water plunger end of the Pump).
As you cans see from the image, unlike other simplex pumps of his, the valve decks are really compacted on top of each other.​
 

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survivingworldsteam

Guest
... As I understand it, Worthington is attributed with the invention of the direct-acting steam pump as well as the “B”-type slide valve (seen in the steam chest), and the poppet valve arrangement (water plunger end of the Pump).​

That is correct, a complete history of the Worthington Pump company can be found at:

http://www.isses.org.uk/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=4921

(I finally managed to get the comments for each picture to display again.)

As you cans see from the image, unlike other simplex pumps of his, the valve decks are really compacted on top of each other.​
That is an excellent drawing. Thank you very much for sharing it.

The later simplex pumps sold under the Worthington name were a Knowles (later Blake and Knowles) design. That is illustrated on page 4 of the above link.

-James
 

Paparpapar

Registered
Hi, I have recently recovered a tank almost a duplicate of that recovered from the Monitor. The museum folks have helped me to identify my piece, they were very helpful. Also here in Rome a copper collector helped to date this piece as being from the 19th century being it has dove tailed seams. I am trying to find someone interested in purchasing it. I will try to see if i can post some pictures. It has been a real challenge and fun trying to figure out what this is. If they don't show please email me and i will gladly send some. Requards Rob.
 

Joe K

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
I've seen this thread again and have yet to respond on my earlier pix inquiry.

Investigation of James Kipp Finch's book revealed naught, but since then a certain pixture has appeared on Ebay which caught my eye.

Ebay Item No. 331124144865. This has been on Ebay for the LONGEST time, held back in part because the print is incorrectly described. Only recently slipped into the "completed" listings. If one reads the back of the photograph, one finds description of an 1859 Worthington Duplex Steam Pump.

This much like the woodcut that was shown that I saw SOMEWHERE - but likely taken from this image.

Or maybe visa-versa? This appears to be a picture of a model of an early Worthington Duplex pump? It does seem to be missing the usual nuts and bolts.

Anyway, I have captured this image and attached directly to this thread as the Ebay listing has ended (no sale) and I have not assurance that the image will continue as a web-reference.

Hope this helps someone. It certain is a message from the past.

Joe K
 

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