Monitor‘s Marvelous Marine Mechanics
There will be lots of blog posts today referencing the 150th anniversary of the “Battle of the Ironclads” between U.S.S. Monitor and the Confederate casemate ship C.S.S. Virginia. That’s as it should be.
Some other time I’ll talk about the ship’s compact trunk engine, designed (like the rest of the ship) by John Ericsson. In the meantime, here’s a video (above) showing the operation of a remarkable 1/16 scale model of it, built by Rich Carlstedt (Flickr images here), and (below) a video from 2010 on the conservation of the real thing:
And this little animation of the engine of U.S.S. Monadnock, very similar to that of Monitor. Note how the pistons move entirely independently of each other: