Walking beam engines were one of the earliest forms of steam engine. The beam pivots in the center, translating the vertical motion of the steam cylinder into rotary motion to the flywheel. Walking beam engines had many industrial applications, and were also often used to drive the paddlewheels of steam boats. The beam configuration can still be seen to this day, most often in the oilfields. Watch this engine running in the video below.
One of the first large donations to the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum was the collection of famed model engine builder Rudy Kouhoupt. After retiring as a chemist, Rudy had a second career building engines and writing magazine articles documenting the process. Many people have built his models, but we have the honor of displaying all of his original prototypes. Rudy’s collection includes scale model engines, locomotives, tractors and more. Additionally, thirteen of Rudy’s model steam engines are hooked up to run on compressed air to demonstrate their function.