Complex Working Corliss Steam Engine Model

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I have always loved the look of these amazing handmade steam engine models. Just think about the amount of work and level of skill it takes to produce a working precision machine like this. I always had a great deal of respect for a talented machinist. It must be over a 1000 hours or more to machine the parts from solid blocks of brass and steel. I have had many model engines in the past but never a Corliss steam engine. A Corliss is one of the most intricate and complex examples you can find. Many would never attempt to build one. It's not only what you see but what you don't see inside the engine that makes it unique. We have not hooked it up to live steam but it ran smoothly on compressed air. It's mesmerizing to watch.

What is a Corliss Engine.
A Corliss steam engine (or Corliss engine) is a steam engine, fitted with rotary valves and with variable valve timing patented in 1849, invented by and named after the American engineer George Henry Corliss of Providence, Rhode Island.

Engines fitted with Corliss valve gear offered the best thermal efficiency of any type of stationary steam engine until the refinement of the uniflow steam engine and steam turbine in the 20th century. Corliss engines were generally about 30 percent more fuel efficient than conventional steam engines with fixed cut-off. This increased efficiency made steam power more economical than water power, allowing Industrial development away from millponds.

Corliss engines were typically used as stationary engines to provide mechanical power to line shafting in factories and mills and to drive dynamos to generate electricity. Many were quite large, standing many metres tall and developing several hundred horsepower, albeit at low speed, turning massive flywheels weighing several tons at about 100 revolutions per minute. Some of these engines have unusual roles as mechanical legacy systems and because of their relatively high efficiency and low maintenance requirements, some remain in service into the early 21st century.
In the Style Of
Place of Origin
United States
Date of Manufacture
Mid-20th Century
Wear consistent with age and use
12 in. H x 24 in. W x 13 in. D
30 cm H x 61 cm W x 33 cm D
Dealer Location
Peekskill, NY
Number of Items
Reference Number
Radio Guy & Early Electrics
115 North Water Street
Peekskill NY 10566
(914) 768-4616
1stdibs Dealer since 2009 Located in Peekskill, NY
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