The Reuleaux Model Collection at Bauman Moscow State Technical University

Russia has had a long tradition in the study and teaching of kinematics of machines and mechanisms, especially through the work of Chebyshev in the 19th century and Artobolevskii in the 20th century. While many model collections in the Former Soviet Union countries during World War II, one of the oldest and most presdigous technical universities Bauman Moscow State Technical University has preserved and maintained a large collection of kinematic models in its department of Theory of Machines and Mechanisms. The Moscow Collections include over 500 models from different eras of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Of special connection to the KMODDL website, BMSTU has a collection of about 60 models from the Voigt-Reuleaux models catalog. Gustav Voigt of Berlin put out two catalogs of models of Franz Reuleaux. The 230 models featured in Cornell’s Reuleaux Collection in KMODDL are from Voigt’s first catalog. Of special interest are the models in the second Voigt catalog since there are 20 models at Bauman Moscow State Technical University from this second catalog that are not available anywhere else in the world. Some of these models show the so-called ‘roulettes’ or path points of curves traced by linkages as they move in space.

The Moscow Kinematic Model Collections were begun in the 19th century by Prof. A.S. Ershov. The first models were those of Ferdinand Redtenbacher of Karlsruhe University in Germany and reproduced in Darmstadt by Schröder around 1850-1860. [See the original Redtenbacher models on KMODDL.] Moscow has copies of many of the Redtenbacher models. The Reuleaux models as produced by Gustav Voigt were purchased by Moscow Technical University in the first decade of the 20th century. During the 1930’s through the 1970’s the Moscow Collection was expanded by local technical expertise as well as by post-graduate students. Today the models are still used in engineering courses in the theory of mechanisms. The Collection curators and custodian are Professor Alexander Golovin and Dr. Tarabarin Valentin. Of special interest are the 30 models of P.L. Chebyshev, who though a world famous mathematician also had a strong interest in kinematic mechanisms. On of his models was copied by Reuleaux, a four link straight-line mechanism (Voigt Model S-19) This mechanism was used to create a steam engine and a model of this engine can be seen in the museum of BMSTU.

Select a model by title to view the informational page for that model, with links to related resources.