Ericsson 'caloric' or hot air engines in lighthouse

Forum to discuss all areas of lighthouse technology such as optics, fuels, fog signals, radiobeacons, daymarks, construction, etc.

Postby stirlingmotion » Mon May 17, 2010 7:50 am

I am new to this forum and my interests are primarily in all types of stirling or 'hot air' engines. One of the earliest commercial engines was designed by the famous designer of the USS Monitor, John Ericsson. Ericsson's first "open cycle" hot air engine was manufactured in the US and elsewhere in the world in the late 1850s-1860s. Many were used in lighthouses to operate foghorns or bells.

I have quite a bit of information and catalog material regarding these engines, but my question to your group is this: do any of these engines (or remnants of them) exist is US or other lighthouses? Several can be found in European museums, but so far none in the US where they were 'born'.

Attached is a photo of one of these engines.
Thank you for your help.
Engine4.jpg (121.76 KiB) Viewed 2728 times
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Sun May 23, 2010 5:35 am

Sad to report there are none remaining on the Great Lakes.
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