View Full Version : USS Monitor

12-10-2002, 12:52 PM
I just read an article about the USS Monitor.The engine was evidently unique and is described like so:"a novel coal-fired engine with a single "semi-cylinder" 40 inches in diameter that has a "double trunk" vibrating lever driving two pistons in one housing". If someone could get plans or sketches or something, wouldn't that make a great model?
If you want to read the article, which is well done, it's in Invention and Technology for Winter 03. Try the library. George

12-12-2002, 11:28 AM
I think this would be a great little project. Check with the historical folks in the Naval museums in Washington. They seem to have lots of paper work and drawing on computer these days.


12-12-2002, 11:53 AM
Here is a link to a past NAMES show showing a picture of a model of the Monitor engine built by Ray Hasbrouck. There are several other nice project pictures as well.


Al Messer
12-12-2002, 03:28 PM
WOW!! This is neat. Ericcson solved the problem of doing away with the tall cross head and crankrod ina most unusual way. Are there prints available for this engine and at what price??

12-12-2002, 09:14 PM
Its a very big engine. I live near where they brought it in. They had it hung upside down from a weldment on a barge for 3 days by the Newport News Shipyard. They are restoring it at a local museum. My father and I got as close as we could until security drove us off the peir where the barge was tied up. I really want to see it resored. They have the propeller too. When they set it up at the musem, I can take some pictures for who ever wants them!

[This message has been edited by tooljedi (edited 12-12-2002).]

12-12-2002, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the heads up on the article, and for the link to the beautiful pictures of Ericsson's engine. I have been interested in Civil War ironclads for years, and like many others would be interested in building a model; or at least daydreaming about building one, which is easier. The civil war book I looked in mentioned a publication, "Drawings of the USS Monitor" by Peterkin, also that the engine was patented, so the patent may be available.

Al Messer
12-12-2002, 10:08 PM
I wonder if the drawings/plans would be available from Mr. Hasbrouck?? For a fee, of course.

12-13-2002, 07:27 AM
His website is www.hasbrouck.8m.com (http://www.hasbrouck.8m.com)
He has several sets of plans for sale, but not for that engine.
He is a very interesting person, I have chatted with him several times at NAMES show. He has several other very interesting model ship engines. He builsd without castings, so all are do-able.

Rich Carlstedt
12-13-2002, 08:24 PM
The USS Monitor steam engine has been an interest to me for 25 years. I am currently drawing up plans for a operating model and would like to see it in LS magazine eventually.
There are no accurate or detailed plans for this engine..unfortunitly..which is probably why there hasn't been any models of it to speak of.
After 25 years, here is what I know about the 4 models that (I know)exist:
1-Ray Hasbrouch has had a wonderful model at NAMES every year (since 94?). The reversing gear that Ericsson designed works and will cause you to stare at Ray's model for a long time as it turns over smoothly on air.
2-Bernie Denny has a fabulous all brass model that is really accurate and detailed at the Mariners Museum. It is an exhibit and is powered to display the motion some called "vibrating lever" engine.he has a cutaway mount showing the prop and pumps as well. I consider him the worlds expert on this engine. He help train the Navy recovery crew so they would not damage the real engine
3-The Smithsonian has on display, Ericssons patent model of 1858. it is a small brass model and is not accurate to the Monitor engine built 3 -4 years later, but does show the conrods (levers) and how they function.
4-The British Science Museum in London has a model engine built by Ericsson at the time of USS Monitor construction for Navy review I believe. It is lacking the valve gear and also runs by electric motor.It was donated in 1865, since the Smithsonian didn't want it (at that time !)
thats it !

There are no prints to speak of. The Engine was really a recycled engine from the Navy Steam Ship Princeton. you must realise that the confederates spent a year building the Virgina(Merrimac)and the Union finally got their act together and Ericsson built the Monitor in 90 days...an incredible feat ! And it was Lincoln who pushed the Navy to give Ericsson the contract and the Monitor reached Hampton Roads for the battle ONE day after the Virgina first engaged the Union Fleet....talk about the calvery arriving in the nick of time !
Because of this rush, details of construction are few and far between.The hull has quite a few drawings and other monitors were built because of the USS Monitor's success but the engines were different somewhat.
Capt.Peterkins Book (which is just outstanding!)is a collection of all this misc. info and prints in an attemp to preserve it for Naval History.
So the engine was never completely drawn.
Now that the real engine is in hand, many,many minds are interested in the true details of it construction ...and the answers will take another 10 years before the iron is stabilized in treatment and the barnicals removed.
In the mean time I am pursuing what I know and hope to have it done in 3 months
Thanks georgeo for the reference, I save everthing I can find about the Monitor