Model: N22 Power Escapement Ratchet With Detachable Regulator
Models 20, 22, 24, 25, 26 fall into a category of mechanisms that Reuleaux called power escapements. Escapements in clocks regulate small amounts of energy to keep the pendulum swinging (e.g., see model X-3). Power escapements regulate the motion of larger energy systems. Reuleaux seems to have designed these models as analogs to dynamic regulators, such as the rotating balls of Watt’s speed regulator in steam engines. Reuleaux gave only one description of a power escapement for model N-26 in The Constructor. However, he did not give a direct application for these mechanisms. Neither do they appear in later treatises or in more modern model collections. Perhaps one can call them “the mystery mechanisms”.

In this model a lever and pawl engages a ratchet wheel to lift or lower a heavy weight. The inverted pendulum and the weight below automatically return the lever to its original position. The lower weight is also detachable from the lever. The reference in the German title to model N-23 is not clear since there is no picture of N-23 in the graphical section of the Voigt catalog.

An application of a power escapement of the verge and foliet type (model X-1) for speed regulation of a pulley-driven water pump may be seen in the 17th century compendium of machines book by Jacob de Strada.

Francis Moon 2004-07-00

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