Society General Meeting

Starts in


1 May 2021

14:30 / 17:00

Talk:  The Steam Engine of the USS Monitor Ironclad (1862)

Rich Carlstedt

Monitor was the first ironclad warship built for the Union navy during the American civil war.  Her wreck was discovered in 1973 and has been partially salvaged, a discovery which started Rich Carlstedt on a journey to model her unusual engine.  For the past 40 years he has developed this interest to the point we will see and hear in his talk.  Rich’s journey has required years of research, travel, and the construction of detailed drawings that did not exist in any archives. His operating replica of the engine in 1/16th scale was completed in 2008 – the only accurate scale model.  In his talk, Rich will describe the design and development of a “vibrating lever – half trunk” engine, with short videos showing basic piston/crank relationships. He will review the operation of the engine – in particular the valve gear. He will describe the research required to build a model with no blueprints accessible, how drawings, methods and work were used to get dimensions, and some of the unusual techniques used for building the model.  He will show a video of the engine running.

    Rich’s work was recognized by the Joe Martin Foundation, and in 2009, he was named “Metalworking Craftsman of the Year”.  Through his research and expertise, he is a technical resource for the Mariners Museum in Newport News Virginia.  He is a long-time member of the Society for Industrial Archaeology.

    The talk will be held using Zoom, and Rich will be speaking to us from his home in Wisconsin.  This will be a first for the Society and is something of an experiment