Friday, December 04, 2015

A Very Rare Find With a Pedigree

Marathon, FL

In Labelle next to the city dock, sits a strange engine on display.  I thought it was a water pump.  Locals told me that it is a rotary steam engine similar to the Wankel engine. It was salvaged from a boat that sank in the river nearby. I did a bit of Internet research, and I found out about it. Wow! The story includes J.P. Morgan, Nikola Tesla, and Nate Herreahoff. How many true stories have so many notable names attached?
The engine, built by E. C. Warren in 1938 based on earlier patents awarded to world-famous electrical and mechanical engineer Nikola Tesla who was belatedly acknowledged as the inventor of wireless radio telephony shortly before his death in 1943, replaced the 500 HP reciprocating steam engines originally installed in the 1917 Herreshoff Manufacturing Company commuter yacht Navette, built for renowned financier J. P. "Jack" Morgan to enable him to comfortably commute from his Long Island estate to his Wall Street office, when Edward C. Warren purchased the sleek shallow-draft 114 ft. vessel some years after Morgan's death.

I was curious about this strange kind of turbine invented by Tesla.  A bit more research turned up the video below.  The Tesla turbine is an active area of interest for hobbyists and exotic energy enthusiasts.

It is always fun to find a jewel of a story sitting right under your nose.

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