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Smith-Putnam Patents & Patent Drawings

While searching for an original copy of the Smith-Putnam film, Gabriel Altman came across the patents for the turbine by Palmer Cosslett Putnam. I use the plural here because there are two patent listings but they look identical.

The 48-page documents contain some beautiful examples of industrial drawing from the period.

The first illustration, Figure 1, shows an idealized view of the downwind turbine with an aerodynamic nacelle cover and the blade flapping motion.

Figure 1 from Palmer Putnam's patent on the Smith-Putnam wind turbine 1941.

Figure 3 shows the drive train with main shaft (#18). The rotor is on the right. Note that the bed plate has a marked angle to the horizontal. This is to give the flapping blades plenty of clearance from the angled legs of the truss tower.

Figure 3 from Palmer Putnam's patent on the Smith-Putnam wind turbine 1941.

Figure 6 shows the blade hinge and the flapping mechanism. The attachments allow the blades to change pitch, but also to flap with gusts of wind. The flapping motion is dampened by a shock absorber.

Figure 6 from Palmer Putnam's patent on the Smith-Putnam wind turbine 1941.

Figure 27 shows the massive pintle that supports the bed plate, allowing the nacelle to yaw in response to changes in wind direction. Modern wind turbines did away with the pintle since at least Gedser. Modern wind turbines use large diameter yaw bearings like those used on cranes. It’s been decades since I read Putnam’s book, but I clearly remember some discussion of the pintle design.

Figure 27 from Palmer Putnam's patent on the Smith-Putnam wind turbine 1941.

  • US2360791A Putnam Palmer Cosslett Morgan Smith S Co
  • US2360792A Putnam Palmer Cosslett Morgan Smith S Co
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