New York Safety Horizontal Steam Engine, c. 1895

Nichols & Langworthy horizontal engine

This 25 HP horizontal engine was built by Nichols and Langworthy Machine Company in Hope Valley, RI in 1895. It is similar to the design of the Armington & Sims engine. It has a 8″ bore and a 9″ stroke and produces 25 HP.

The engine was originally installed the cellar of Lippitt Hall at the Rhode Island Agricultural School (now the University of Rhode Island) and was purchased when the building was built. It generated all of the electricity for the campus.

In 1929 the engine was moved to the cellar of Bliss Hall, the first engineering building on campus. There it was used only for instructional purposes in the Mechanical Engineering Department.

The department and all of its equipment was moved to Wales Hall in 1960. During that move the generator, the control panel, and the resistor banks which were used for a load were, unfortunately, scrapped. A few years later this engine was donated to the NEWSM, and two other steam engines and a small deLaval turbine were scrapped. Two of the other engine’s flywheels were used as moorings for an ocean engineering student’s thesis project, which are probably still at the bottom of Narragansett Bay.

The engine is connected to a General Electric DC generator.