Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Leavitt-Riedler Pumping Engine - Chestnut Hill MA

The Leavitt-Riedler Pumping Engine (1894) is a historic steam engine and has been declared a national landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the coal-fired engine was designed by noted engineer Erasmus Darwin Leavitt, Jr. (1836-1916) of Cambridge, Massachusetts, built by N.F. Palmer Jr. & Co. and the Quintard Iron Works, New York, and installed in 1894 as Engine No. 3 of the Chestnut Hill Station to pump water for the Boston Water Works Corporation. At its normal speed of 50 revolutions per minute, it pumped 20,000,000 gallons in 24 hours.  The engine itself is of an unusual triple expansion, three-crank rocker design, with pistons 13.7, 24.375, and 39 inches in diameter and 6 foot stroke. Each rocker is connected both to a crankshaft with 15-foot flywheel and to a large pump's plunger rod.

The engine was removed from service in 1928 but remains in its original location and will soon be the centerpiece of the Waterworks Museum along with three other period steam engines.


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