Steam Engine Manufactures

Hero Steam Engine

Oscillating Cylinder Steam Engine

Single Cylinder Oscillating Steam Engine

Elmer's Engines

Jeffery Jensen's Oscillating/Wobbler Steam Engine

  • Figure 1-0 Animation Jensen Oscillating Steam Engine Modeled in Autodesk Inventor
    • “A line should now be marked down the centre of the bearing surface of the cylinder, and another through the centre of the face of the steam-block, as seen at A B, Figs. 14 and 15. Upon the former line punch two centre-marks on the cylinder face, in about the positions marked D and E in Fig. 15; also centre-punch the crank for the crank-pin and fly-wheel shaft. Now draw the diagram as shown in Fig. 16, as follows: at right angles to the straight line A B draw C D, equal in length to the distance between centremarks on crank, and draw D E equal to distance between crank-pin H (Fig. 12) and centre-mark D (Fig. 15), when the engine is in the middle of its stroke. (This may be easily found by adding dotted lines to Fig. 12, showing positions of cylinder, piston, and crank at half-stroke, and of centre-mark D.) Continue D E to F, equal to distance between centre-marks D E (Fig. 15). Not taking the steam-block (Fig. 14), centre-punch on the flattened side the mark F to correspond with the mark D on cylinder face, and with the radius F K equal to D E (Fig. 15) describe the arc H K. Turing to the diagram Fig. 16, take the distance F H with compass, and mark off this distance on Fig. 14 on each side of the centre-line A B. The centre-marks for the steam-ways must be made upon the arc H K, and just within the distance marked off from the centre-line, so that the steam-ways themselves, when drilled, may be just within the mark, as seen at H and K (Fig. 14). The steam-ways are to be drilled half-way through the steam-block with 1/16 inch drill; a rather larger drill is then to be taken, and with it a hole is to be drilled from each side of the steam-block into the 1/16 inch steam-way just mentioned. This will be made quite clear by a glance at Figs. 17 and 17, Fig. 18 being a section of the steam block on the line A B of Fig. 17, and H and K the steam-ways.
    • Figure 1-0 Model Engine-making, In Theory and Practice by J. Pocock, p. 23-26

Steam Engine Stand

Piston Case with Threads

  • Figure 1-0 Multiview of Piston Case with bolt threads

Air Hose and Connector

Lyle Peterson's Steam Engine

  • Lyle Peterson (a.k.a mrpete222 or tubalcain)

Autodesk Inventor Steam Engine Plans

  • Figure 1-0 Animation Steam Engine Modeled in Autodesk Inventor

Base plate

  • Figure 1-0 Tubal Cain Steam Engine - Base plate

Upright Stand

Assembly - Base plate, Upright Stand and Screws
  • use No. 10 with 24 threads per inch, bolt length 3/4 inches (#10-24 x 3/4 in). Autodesk Inventor - Content Center, use <b>Cross Recessed 100° Flat Countersunk Head Machine Screw - Type I - Inch</b>
  • Figure 1-0 Tubal Cain Steam Engine - Assembly of Base Plate, Upright Stand and Screws

Brass Tubing

  • Figure 3-0 Tubal Cain Steam Engine - Brass Tubing
  • Figure 4-0 Tubal Cain Steam Engine - Brass Tubing Picture


Crank Disc and Pin

Crank Rod

  • Material - Steel
  • Figure 6-0 Tubal Cain Steam Engine - Crank Rod Multiview

Piston Head and Piston Shaft

Piston Case

  • Material - Aluminum
  • Figure 8-0 Tubal Cain Steam Engine - Piston Case Multiview
  • Figure 8-0 Tubal Cain Steam Engine - Piston Case Image

Piston Case Bolt, Spring, Nut

  • Material -
  • Cannot find a #5 lock nut from Home Depot (Tubal Cain mentioned in the video this nut size is hard to find), therefore will modify the design to use a 1/4“ 20 TPI nut instead.
  • Compression Spring
    • Harbor Freight 200 Piece Assorted Spring Set item No. 67562, cost 4.49. Try diameter 1/4” or 3/8“ and length 1”
    • Home Depot Spring Assortment Kit 84-pack store SKU No. 471864, Everbilt brand, cost
    • “Spring index: The spring index is the ratio of the mean coil diameter of a spring to the wire diameter (D/d). This ratio is one of the most important considerations in spring design because the deflection, stress, number of coils, and selection of either annealed or tempered material depend to a considerable extent on this ratio. The best proportioned springs have an index of 7 through 9. Indexes of 4 through 7, and 9 through 16 are often used. Springs with values larger than 16 require tolerances wider than standard for manufacturing; those with values less than 5 are difficult to coil on automatic coiling machines.” (Machinery's Handbook, 27th Edition, p. 320)
    • “Direction of helix: Unless functional requirements call for a definite hand, the helix of compression and extension springs should be specified as optional. When springs are designed to operate, one inside the other, the helices should be opposite hand to prevent intermeshing. For the same reason, a spring that is to operate freely over a threaded member should have a helix of opposite hand to that of the thread. When a spring is to engage with a screw or bolt, it should, of course, have the same helix as that of the thread.” (Machinery's Handbook, 27th Edition, p. 320)
    • d = diameter of wire or side of square, inches
    • D = Mean coil diameter, inches = Outer Diameter - d
    • Use Spring Index = 9, then
  • Nut
    • Hex Nut - Inch 1/4 - 20 TPI


  • Tubalcain Builds An Oscillating Steam Engine - Part 1 of 5
  • Tubalcain Builds An Oscillating Steam Engine - Part 2 of 5
  • Tubalcain Builds An Oscillating Steam Engine - Part 3 of 5
  • Tubalcain Builds An Oscillating Steam Engine - Part 4 of 5
  • Tubalcain Builds An Oscillating Steam Engine - Part 5 of 5
  • Tubalcain Builds An Oscillating Steam Engine - Part 6 (plans only)
  • Tubalcain - STEAM ENGINE wobbler-How the Valving Works

Vertical Slide-Valve Steam Engine by C.W. Woodson

Model Gasoline Engine by J. C. Magee

Model Steam Engine Simplified for Beginners by C.K. Fankhauser

Steam Boiler by C. K. Fankhauser

Oscillating Steam Engine with Reverse Gear by C. W. Woodson

Vertical Steam Engine with Reverse Gear by C. W. Woodson


Electricity from Steam Engines

  • Figure 1-0 Sketch of Steam Engine Generating Electricity, Make: Electronics by Charles Platt, Fig 5-22, p. 241
  • How Magnets Product Electricity by PublicResourceOrg
    • 1. Current Flow increased by 1) strength of magnet, 2) speed the magnetic field cuts the copper wire, 3) number of times the wire is cut (in a coil) by the magnetic field.
  • Shawn Hymel Explains Electromagnetism and Magnets
  • AC Motors - Air Training Command TVK 30-704 by PublicResourceOrg
    • AC Induction Motors have the following major parts: 1) end bells which just hold the bears for the motor, 2) housing and stader/field winding and 3) rotor which becomes an electromagnet - speed determined by the load and rotates slower than the magnetic field. Relative motion called by 90° phase difference
    • Slippage - difference between magnetic field rotation of the housing and the rotational speed of the rotor.
    • Figure 1-0 Requirements for Induction
    • Figure 1-0 AC Induction Motor
  • How Electricity Works - 1945
  • AC vs DC - Tesla vs Edison

Electricity from Household Water

River Queen Open Column Launch Engine


  1. Set Screw - #8-32 threads per inch ($0.34 from Home Depot or Amazon)
  • River Queen Open Column Launch Engine Kit Plans (RiverQueenPlans.pdf) Booklet No. B-100, Published by Edelstaal Technical Institute.


  • PM Research manufacturer of model engine kits and accessories for hobbyist and machinist
    • Figure 1-0 PM Research - Steam Engine Pipe Arrangement, Catalog, p. 34


  • The Original Toy Steam Forum
  • River Queen Plans - scanned booklet by John Tomlinson, email:
  • purchased the Model Steam Launch Engine Material Kit from the for $60 + $8.75 shipping.
  • Sussex Steam Company produces historical model live steam engine kits like the James Watt Beam Engine
  • Toy Steam Engines by Katherine Richardson, Antiques and Collecting Magazine, June 1996, Vol. 101, Issue 4
    • In 1900, young August Zoll received a Weeden Upright Steam Engine No. 4 for Christmas. It was American made, of brass and soft casting metal, with a copper boiler. In subsequent years, he was given other steam-driven toys, simple trains and boats, some made in Germany. The history behind these toys and others like them is a long and fascinating one.
    • Mechanical toys predate the Christian era. These early toys, or automata, were made by adults for adults, so delicate and sophisticated were their mechanisms. Hero of Alexandria was one such inventor. In order to move the mechanism, power was needed. Experimenting with ideas, he constructed a singing bird activated by means of air pressure on water. Another of his toys used heat to increase air pressure, thus moving the device.
    • With the coming of the so-called Dark Ages, many of these developments were lost to the western world. They began to resurface in the late Middle Ages. A decisive factor was the invention of clockwork movements worked by means of weights and pulleys. Mechanical figures on the clocks, such as a soldier in uniform, struck a bell each hour of the day. By the 16th century, Augsburg and Nuremburg in Germany, where so many skilled metal-smiths resided, had become an important center for the manufacturing of mechanical clocks and toys. The artisans relied on royal patronage for the monies to experiment and invent their creations. One such invention was the spring-driven clock. It eventually provided the opportunity to produce smaller mechanical toys.
    • By the 18th century, when royal patronage was not so necessary and toys were no longer made for an elite few, the French and Swiss led the toy industry. Outstanding French craftsmen, such as Jacques de Vaucanson and Pierre Jaquet-Droz, made intricate automata, many of them life-sized. They were frequently shown to the public at fairs and exhibits.
    • Gradually, smaller toys began to replace the larger. At the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London in 1851, Geman and Austrian toys dominated, although many were actual stuffed animals rather than wood or metal. Still, France remained the premier maker of luxury mechanical toys. At the same time, however, cheaper versions of these toys were being produced in quantity by German manufacturers.
    • With the defeat of France in 1870 in the Franco-Prussian War, the Germans quickly supplanted the French in the world market with toys far more competitively priced. It was the beginning of the mass production of toys throughout the world. Now middle-class children could own mechanical toys at a price they could afford – everything from ships, trains and cars to walking, talking dolls, any object that the mind of the maker could invent.
    • It seemed appropriate that Germany should take the lead in the mass production of mechanical toys. The Germans had been making toys since the 15th century. Their superiority in the field relied on a combination of skills acquired over many years, coupled with initiative and hard work. One process, invented in France in 1815, in which dozens of parts of a toy are stamped out on a single sheet of tinplate (thin metal coated with tin) was used by the German companies to great advantage. The tinplate was dipped or sprayed, with details hand decorated. With the introduction of offset lithography in the 1890s, however, tinplate could be mechanically colorprinted. Handwork was virtually eliminated on all but the most expensive pieces, and toymaking became even quicker and cheaper.
    • All toys require power to move them. In early toys the child's hand was the source of power. It was used to push and pull, to raise a weight or wind a spring. But with the use of heat as a source of power, the child's hand is no longer the prime mover. Rather, burning fuel creates a high temperature, thus generating power to move the engine. This is the principle behind the simple steam engine: a fuel such as alcohol is put under the water in a boiler and lit, creating steam.
    • By the last quarter of the 19th century, people had become fascinated with the steam engine. As the manufacturers produced complicated toys such as locomotives, boats and fire engines, adults had to help children with their operation: fill the boiler with water, start the fire and check and lubricate all the parts.
    • Nuremburg, for several centuries the site of so many early toys, became a center for toys operated by steam. The well-known firm of Gebruder Bing operated there, as did Carette, Hess, Gunthermann, Fleischmann and others. Marklin of Goppingen introduced realistic innovations, such as railway crossings, figure-eight layouts to railway making. They mass produced steam- and electrically-driven models. It was the beginning of the scale-model railway industry.
    • In the United States, the completion of the transcontinental railway in 1869 provided the impetus for American manufacturers to make toys operated by steam. By 1870, Edward Riley Ives was operating a toy factory in Bridgeport, Conn., where he and other inventors working with him produced steam-driven toy locomotives, as well as other ingenious mechanical toys. But it was The Weeden Manufacturing Company in New Bedford, Mass., which became one of the most successful manufacturers and led the American market long after many others went out of business. It produced steam trains, boats and fire engines. That they were popular is evident from the large number of them advertised in catalogs of the day.
    • Prices for these toys seem relatively inexpensive when judged by today's costs. The Weeden Upright Steam Engine Number 4 sold for $1.50 in 1900. Most prices were under $10.00. Fifty years after receiving his gift, August Zoll (now 60 years old) wrote to Weeden on Nov. 25, 1950, requesting new gaskets for his childhood toy. To quote his letter: “The instructions and price list for parts, which came with it, is crumbling with age, but it is interesting to see the low figures for parts. The engine, complete with flywheel, whistle and governor was 75 cents.” By 1950, Weeden had been taken over by National Playthings, a division of the National Pairpoint Company. Nevertheless, they were able to supply him with new gaskets.
    • Other steam-driven toys in this small private collection are two boats. One boat, identified as a Weeden, bears some resemblance to one made by Fleischmann in Nutemburg in 1900. The other boat, in all probability a Weeden, is similar to a steam launch made by Schoener, also of Nuremburg, in the same year. Young August Zoll surely tried using his boats in water, but since he lived in the Glendale section of Brooklyn, it was undoubtedly in a tub.
    • By the end of the first decade in this century, the popularity of steam-driven toys had begun to wane. Was it the fact that they may have been considered unsafe for children? Since they had been in use for 30 years, it seems more probable that the advent of electrically driven toys with improved batteries was a deciding factor Steam was no longer new and exciting. Still, interest did not totally die out. By mid-century, new versions of steam-driven toys appeared on the market, improved in design and using dry fuel, which is safer. German companies, such as Marklin, Fleischmann and Wilesco, were still very much in business manufacturing steam engines.
    • In determining the price of old toys, four factors are taken into consideration: How rare is it? What is its condition? Is it desirable? Is it available? Many turn-of-the-century elaborate and costly mechanical toys can sell for thousands of dollars: e.g., a Marklin ocean liner with original paint, $12,000; and a Bing monoplane, circa 1912, $5,500. The more simple toys sell at much lower prices; a Mamod toy steam engine is valued at approximately $40. Other prices range in the low hundreds.
    • While no value has been placed on the toy steam engines in the Zoll collection, an important factor in determining price is that surviving examples of early mechanical toys by American makers are scarce and therefore relatively more expensive. Those dating from the 1950s would probably sell for more (they are already 45 years old!) if for no other reason than inflation.
    • Two museums with large collections of early toys are the Bethnal Green Museum in London and the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum in Rochester, N.Y. Toy steam engines may also be seen at auction houses, such as Sotheby's.
    • Author's note: August H. Zoll's career as a mechanical engineer spanned 36 years at Curtiss-Wright Corporation working on engine controls, including such projects as the turbo-compound einbgine which powered the DC7. After retirement, he became involved with the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey in Teterboro. He is currently the Curator of the Curtiss-Wright Archive at the Museum, having computerized the tremendous collection of material on C-W. He was honored at a May 16th banquet for his achievement.
    • PHOTO (COLOR): Vertical toy steam engine made in Germany; seal on the front marked with an eagle and the letters “K M & Co.”; circa 1900.
    • PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): Marklin steam engine with a generator, mid-1950s; original cost about $200.
    • PHOTO (COLOR): ABOVE: Weeden Upright Steam Engine #4, circa 1900.
    • PHOTO (COLOR): RIGHT: Steam-driven trackless toy train, called a “dribbler” or “piddler”; probably a Weeden; circa 1900.
    • PHOTO (COLOR): Mid-1950s steam engine; made by Wilhelm Schroder (Wilesco) in Ludenscheid, Germany.
    • PHOTO (COLOR): TOP: Steam-driven toy boat, a Weeden #2, circa 1900. It bears a resemblance to one made by Fleischmann in Nuremburg in 1900.

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