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Robert M Ellsworth <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 16 Mar 2020 13:41:56 -0500
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My guess is that the ‘Corliss engine’ would have been in an essay or comment around the 1876 Centennial exposition, which was famously powered by a large version of one.

The technical innovation of a Corliss engine was in its valve actuation: it used a spring-trip mechanism to give very precise timing followed by very quick opening or closing of rotary valves with pretty good (for the era) passage flow.  These were great advantages for mill engines, not so much for typical steamboat engines that might have very long stroke but run at low effective rpm.

It is certainly possible that inventors or proponents may have ‘pitched’ SLC on technical investment in some form of ‘advanced’ or improved steam engine, perhaps a marine-adapted engine.  This might never have reached mention further than inbound correspondence ... that might not have been kept, if you take my meaning...


> On Mar 15, 2020, at 8:11 PM, Dave Davis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Did Twain ever write about the specifics of the engines he would have been
> familiar with? I seem to remember a mention of a "Corliss" engine, but I
> don't know where in the corpus that might have been.
> Has anyone done a paper about this (slightly technical-- he was the pilot,
> not an engineer...) topic?