US 3762276 A
A steam engine including a stationary housing through which passes a "stationary" shaft, an engine block mounted in the housing for rotation relative to the shaft, the block having a power output shaft rigidly connected therewith and extending externally of the housing in coaxial relationship relative to the stationary shaft; the block having a plurality of cylinders formed therein in radially spaced relationship relative to said stationary shaft, the cylinders being arcuately shaped and having opposed open ends converging towards the axis of the aforementioned shafts, each of said cylinders receiving double headed pistons for reciprocation therein with faces inclined in the direction of the normal rotation of the block relative to the stationary shaft; and, means in the housing for valving the cylinders in sequential order for the admission of steam under pressure and the exhaust of spent steam.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Gates 1 51 Oct. 2, 1973 STEAM ENGINE  Inventor: Gregory J. Gates, 1273 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, Ga. 30306 22 Filed: May 13,1971 211 Appl.No.: 142,897
 US. Cl 91/197, 91/483, 91/502,
Primary Examiner-Carlton R. Croyle Assistant Examiner-John J. Vrablik Attorney-Kimmel, Crowell & Weaver  ABSTRACT A steam engine including a stationary housing through which passes a stationary shaft, an engine block mounted in the housing for rotation relative to the shaft, the block having a power output shaft rigidly connected-therewith and extending externally of the housing in coaxial relationship relative to the stationary shaft; the block having a plurality of cylinders formed therein in radially spaced relationship relative to said stationary shaft, the cylinders being arcuately shaped and having opposed open ends converging towards the axis of the aforementioned shafts, each of said cylinders receiving double headed pistons for reciprocation therein with faces inclined in the direction of the normal rotation of the block relative to the stationary shaft; and, means in the housing for valving the cylinders in sequential order for the admission of steam under pressure and the exhaust of spent steam.
8 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEU W 2M5 SHEET 1 0F 4 INVENTO/Z GREGORY J. GATES BY A TTORNEYS PATENTEDBET ems SHEET 2 OF 4 Q m: 9 9w @Q 3 $9 NQ m on N9 w l) wk an o9 v QQ vm Q3 84 on Q \Q &. NS w E v. 09 mm 9Q VQ m9 \Q Q o5 w& 3 Nu NW 0% g Q W W a: QN NV Q N v R\\ Q INVENTOR. GREGORY .1 GATES B V K ma A T TORNEYS PATENTEDDBI 2:915 3.762.276
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GREGORY J. GATES A TTORNEKS 1 STEAM ENGINE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1'. Field of the Invention Under the present US. Patent Office order of classification, it isbelieved that the present invention could be properly classified in Class 91 entitled MOTORS, EXPANSIBLE CHAMBER TYPE, its Subclass 196 MOVING CYLINDER, and/or Subclasses indented thereunder.
2. Description of the Prior Art Of the known prior art patents, perhaps the patent issued to Tom B. Thompson, US. Pat. No. 3,181,475, is the most pertinent with respect to the invention at hand. It is suhrnitted, however, that the publication known as ENGINEERING/the May l9, 1961 issue thereof at page 682 is more germane. The article to which specific reference is made is entitled: Selwood OrbitalEngine.', An'earlier reference to this prime mover was published in the same magazine dated May 5, 1961 and which appeared on page 637. At the present time it is unknown if the engine described and illustrated in the several articles has bee n patented in the i United States and/or foreign countries.
The Selwood engine is pertinent in that it discloses an internal combustion engine which includes a stationary shaft carrying a spider on ball bearings, the spider supporting a plurality of double-ended pistons which rotate with the cylinder block, and wherein an output shaft is fixedly connected with the cylinder block.
The cylinders and pistons of the Selwood engine are curved (which serves as one basic distinction away from the Thornpson patent), and the spider carrying the pistons is disposed at an angle to the stationary shaft in such a manner as to cause the pistons to rotate as they move in and out of their respective cylinders during the course of one revolution of the block. In the later article relating to the Selwood engine, the author indicates that because of the angle at which the axis of the piston is inclined, they will move in and out of the cylinders in the course of one revolution, but such movement is not to be regarded as a reciprocating the engine block and coaxially aligned with the stationary shaft, and suitable valving means in the nature of casings applied to the opposed ends of the cylinder block to sequentially permit the application of steam pressure to piston heads and to enable the venting of the opposed ends of the cylinders as the cylinder block is rotated. One of the important features of this invention is that in accordance with the teachings of the present invention the entire steam pressure is contained entirely within the housing in such a manner that only one bearing is needed, and that only need be supplied about the output shaft in order to, contain the steam pressure.
The valving means of the present invention is such that the same cooperate to provide steam inlet and exhaust means, and by turning the stationary shaft, to which the piston means is connected, the position of the valving means relative to the cylinders may be altered in such a manner as to exert a braking force reducing the torque and the RPM of the output shaft progressively toward zero or, in fact, to effect the complete reversal of the rotation of the engine block.
As will become obvious from the following specification, the design of the instant engine incorporates the advantages of both a turbine and a piston type engine with few of the standard disadvantages of either. By virmotion since the pistons do not move from side to side while revolving. The author then points out that because of the fact that the pistons are not reciprocatin g there are no inertia forces acting on them, and consequently, with no connecting rods, there are no side thrusts on the cylinder walls. It is believed that this was an inadvertent misstatement of fact for itis this lateral vector force or forces which act upon the sides of the cylinder walls that provides the rotary motion of the cylinder block about its supporting stationary shaft.
Being an internal combustion engine, the Selwood engine must, necessarily, make provisions for ignition of the gases supplied to the cylinders, suitable inlet and exhaust openings or ports, and other components which lead to high operational costs. including, of course, the relatively high costs of combustible fuels.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION While the instant invention operates on the basic principle of the Selwood engine, it may be characterized in the simplicity of its construction which involves, namely, a stationary" shaft entering a stationary sub stantially spherical housing, a cylinder or engine block having a plurality of cylinders formed therein to receive pistons therein, an output shaft fixedly connected to tue of utilizing the gas under pressure against a movable piston within a cylinder, the engine develops a maximum torque at zero RPM and requires no clutch or transmission, the engine being capable of developing power equally well at varied RPM. Also because of absence of inertial forces an RPM approaching that of a turbine can be expected.
A further object of this invention is to provide an engine of the type generally described supra, the engine being non-complex in construction and assembly, inexpensive to manufacture and maintain, and which is rugged and durable in use.
Other and further objects and advantages of the instant invention will become moremanifest from a consideration of the following specification when read in conjunction with the annexed drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a longitudinal medial cross-sectional view through the steam engine housing and illustrating the engine block in side elevation;
FIG. 2 is a right-hand end elevational view, partially broken away, of the cylinder block, and the valving means therefor, with the right-hand half of the housing removed.
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal medial transverse cross sectional view of the engine, FIG. 3 being taken substantially on the vertical plane of line 3-3 of FIG. 2, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the righthand end of the engine, it being understood that the opposite or left-hand end thereof is a substantial duplicate of this illustration;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary end elevational view of the cylinder block, FIG. 5 being taken substantially on the vertical plane of line 5-5 of FIG. 4, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 6 is an end elevational view of the cylinder end plate, FIG. 6 being taken substantially on the vertical plane of line 6-6 of FIG. 4, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 7 is an end elevational view of the valve casing means and the adjacent end of the engine housing, FIG. 7 being taken substantially on the vertical plane of line 7-7 of FIG. 4, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 8 is an assembly view of the valve casing mounted upon the cylinder end plate with its respective tracks;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged transverse cross-sectional view of the track and easing, FIG. 9 being taken substantially on the vertical plane of line 9-9 of FIG. 8, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of the stationary shaft, the piston connecting spider and retaining means therefor;
FIG. 11 is a top plan view of one of the several pistons constructed according to this invention, FIG. 11 being partially broken away to show the roller construction;
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary detail cross-sectional view also partly in elevation, this Figure further illustrating the details of the piston roller construction and being taken substantially on the inclined plane of line 12-12 of FIG. 3, looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 13 is a schematic view illustrating the operation of the engine constructed in accordance with this invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now more specifically to the drawings, reference numeral designates, in general, a steam engine constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention. The engine 20 includes a two-part housing 22, each comprising a semi-spherical side wall 24, 26, respectively, and a truncated apex end closed by the circular end walls 28, 30, respectively. The end wall 28 is formed with an integral hollow boss 32 which projects laterally and outwardly therefrom, and is centrally located with respect thereto. The function of this boss will be described below. A second hollow boss 34 projects laterally and outwardly from the central portion of the end wall with which it is integrally formed, this boss also serving a function to be described, but it should be here noted that the two bosses 32, 34 are coaxially aligned and that the end walls 28, 30 are parallel with respect to one another.
The side walls 24, 26 are disposed in aligned juxtaposition relative to one another with the enlarged base ends thereof abutting each other and terminating in laterally and outwardly projecting continuous circumferential connector flanges 36, 38 which fit flush against each other for connection as by the conventional fastening means 40 (see FIG. 2) which are extended through suitable openings 41 formed in the flanges 36, 38.
Reference numeral 42 generally indicates the steam engine block constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention. The block 42 is herein illustrated as also being of two-piece construction including the block portions 44 and 46. Each block portion 44, 46 includes a semi-spherical side wall 48, 50 (see FIG. 3) truncated at their respective apex ends which are closed by integrally formed end walls 52, 54, the end walls being disposed substantially parallel with respect to one another.
lntegrally formed with each side wall 48, 50 are a plurality of arcuately shaped half-cylinders 56, 58 of uniform and constant internal diameter. The half-cylinders 56, 58 each number six in this embodiment of the invention, the half-cylinders having continuing axes which extend in planes that include the longitudinal axes of the side walls 48, 50. The half-cylinders 56, 58 are radially spaced about the longitudinal axes of the side walls 48, 50 at equal intervals, and the connected or joined half-cylinders 56, 58 each has an arcuate length of less than 180.
The half-cylinders 56, 58 have converging ends opening in ports 60, 62 and outwardly diverging outer ends which engage flush against one another and which are in open communication with each other. The central arcuate axis of each confronting and adjacent halfcylinder 56, 58 is, as stated above, a continuation of the other, all being struck on the same radius. The confronting diverging ends are connected by web means 64, 66 and conventional fastening means 68 (see FIGS. 1 and 2). The confronting and aligned halfcylinders 56, 58 cooperate to form the continuous and separate cylinders C C C C C and C The assembled block 42 is disposed within the housing 22 and is supported for rotation thereon in spaced relation relative thereto by means of a shaft 70. The shaft 70 is normally stationary and has a portion thereof projecting into the boss 32 and which extends inwardly into the housing 22, axially thereof, through an opening 72 formed in the end wall 52 and which is received within the anti-friction bearing 74. The other end of the shaft 70 is journalled in anti-friction bearings 76 disposed in'a recess 78 formed in the end wall 54.
Disposed within the engine block 42 and integrally connected with the shaft 70 is a cylindrical track means 80, the track means 80 including a substantially flat main cylindrical body 81 having a continuous radially extending flange 82 projecting from the periphery thereof adjacent one of its sides. The other side of the main body portion 81 is stepped down to form the continuous cylindrical shoulder 84. As is seen in FIG. 3, the several components of the track means 80, including its opposed surface sides 86, 88, extend from the shaft at a constant acute angle A (see FIG. 3).
At is designated, in general, (see FIGS. 3 and 4) a spider comprising a flat annular member 92 from which radially project a plurality of cylindrical rods 94 having outer ends threaded as at 96. The member 92 is telescopically mounted on the body 81 and is rotatably supported thereon in laterally spaced juxaposition relative to the flange 82.
At 98 is indicated an annular lock member telescopically mounted on the shoulder 84 and which is releasably connected on the main body portion 81 as by the screw fastener means 100 which extend through suitable transverse openings 101 formed therein (see FIG. 10). The annular member 92 is laterally spaced from the annular lock member 98 and is held in this position, as well as in its laterally spaced position relative to the flange 82, as by the elongated anti-friction bearings 102.
The radially projecting rods 94 extend through, respectively, continuous alongated slots 104 formed in the side walls 48, 50 with each slot 104 communicating with the interior of one of the cylinders C, C respectively. Each of the rods is adapted for connection, respectively, with one of a plurality of arcuately shaped pistons here generally designated by the reference numeral 106. To avoid needless repetition in the drawings and this description of the invention, only two such pistons, 106A and 1068, have been illustrated in the assembly of the invention as is illustrated in FIG. 3. These pistons occupy the cylinders C and C respectively, at the top and bottom dead end center positions. It will be understood, however, that one such piston is provided for each of the cylinders.
Each piston 106 is provided (see FIGS. 3 and 11) with a pair of piston heads 108, 110 having end surfaces of sufficient area so as to substantially close their associated ports 60, 62 as the pistons 106 move in their respective cylinders C C during the course of their respective cyclic operation. Additionally, it will be noted (see FIG. 3) that the surfaces 112, 114 extend in planes whichare acute with respect to the longitudinal axis of the stationary shaft 70 and the longitudinal axis of its associated cylinder and which are also canted to receive the steam pressure.
The heads 108, 110 are each provided with aplurality of rings here indicated at 116 and are connected together in spaced relationship relative to one another as by the integrally connected flange type brace members 117, 118 (see FIG. 11).
As is seen in the several Figures of the drawings, the brace members arcuately converge from each piston head 108, 110 and merge into a centrally located hollow cylindrical boss 120 which is bored at 122 to receive, respectively, one of the rods 94. Each rod 94 extends completely through its associated boss 120 and is releasably connected therein as by the cap nuts 124.
Brief mention has been made (supra) concerning the apparently inaccurate statement which appeared in the article regarding the Selwood engine with respect to the lateral forces exerted therein. It is submitted that the Selwood engine does require and does depend upon the lateral forces generated in each cylinder thereof, otherwise it is not seen that the Selwood engine is operable. The present invention recognizes and utilizes the lateral thrust of the expanded medium together with means for compensating the same in order to reduce wear on the piston rings 116, and to this end eachpiston head 108, 110 is provided with a recess 126 opening outwardly therefrom in the direction of the anticipated power thrusts, each recess partially housing a wheel 128 mounted for rotation therein on an axle 130. Each wheel 128 has a peripheral edge 132 projecting beyond its recess 126 for a distance substantially equal to the extension of the rings 116 beyond their respective piston heads 108, 110, the axles 130 being substantially' perpendicular to the axis of the reciprocating movement of the piston heads 108, 110. The wheels 128 each engage, of course, with the adjacent portions of the side wall of one of the cylinders C C,, inclusive, respectively.
The end wall 54 is integrally connected with the base end of a frustoconical connector 134, and the latter, in the plane of its frustum, is integrally connected with the opposed ends of the engineblock by means conventional in the art (not shown).
Each end plate 144 includes a frustoconical side wall 146 having a centrally located channel 148 (see FIGS. 4 and 8) formed therein intermediate its ends and which is defined at its sides by the axially spaced inwardly and upwardly converging tracks 150, 152 and by a bottom wall 154 having openings 156 in communication with the ports 60, 62.
Inserted within each end plate 144 is an arcuate casing 158 (see FIGS. 3 and 8) having an arcuate length of substantially 180". In transverse cross-section, the casings 158 are substantially U-shaped and each includes a bight wall 160 from the opposed ends of which laterally project, respectively, the opposed confronting arms 162, 164. The bight wall 160 taken with the arms 162, 164 define a spent steam receiving chamber 166. Each arm is undercut at 168, 170 to form outer races for bearings 172 interposed between the undercuts and the tracks 150, 152. While theouter ends of the arms 162, 164 are adapted to close against and, in fact, seal against the frustoconical side wall 146 of each end plate 144, provision is made to insure against steam pressure leakage and, to this end, there is provided a semi-cylindrical gasket 174 formed of any suitable plastic or other material fixedly connected by conventional means (not shown) to the outer side of each arm 162, 164 for positive and sliding engagement with the proximate surfaces of the end plate surface 146.
As is seen in the drawings, casings 158 nest in the adjacent one of each end plate 144 with the cavities thereof spanning a portion, respectively, of each bottom wall 154 andthe openings 156. In the normal assembly of the engine 20, the casings-l58 are spaced 180 away from one another relative to the axes of the shafts 70 and 136.
Each casing 158 exhausts through a conduit 176 (see I ,FIGS. 4 and 7) to the atmosphere, the conduits 176 exone end of a power output shaft 136. The shaft 136 extends through the boss 34 and is journalled for rotation therein on bearings 138 held against displacement by the usual rings 140, 142. It should be here noted that the stationary shaft 70 and the power output shaft 136 are coaxial.
Each end of the block 42 is provided with a substantially hollow frustoconical inserted end plate 144 contoured to fit snugly thereagainst and acrossthe ports 60, 62, the end plates 144 being fixedly connected to tending through a suitable opening 178 (see FIG. 4) formed in the end walls 28, 30 (only the opening in the end wall 30 being herein shown in an assembly view,
but see also the schematic illustration of FIG. 13). Each end of the casing is closedby an end wall 159 and an integrally formed shoe 159A which, for the control of the engine 20, is adapted to track in one of the channels 148 and serves to seal the various openings 156.
Steam under pressure from any suitable source (not shown) is admitted to the interior of the housing 22 as by the communicating conduits 180. In this preferred embodiment of the invention, the steam exhaust conduits 176, 176 are spaced 180 away from one another as are the steam inlet conduits 180.
The housing 22 may be mounted on a suitable bracket or support means (not shown) and other suitable means (not shown) may be employed to releasably clamp the shaft in such a manner as to hold it against rotation about its longitudinal axis.
The engine 20, obviously, may be operated by any pressurized expansible gas, and the mention of steam herein as the operating medium is not to be construed as a limitation.
In operation, and assuming the components of the engine under consideration are in their positions illustrated in the drawings and are constructed as described above, it will be understood that steam pressure is applied to the piston heads 108, through the ports 60, 62 (at opposite ends of the engine block 42) which are,
at that time, not covered by the casings 158. Thus, and with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, the piston heads 110 of the pistons 106 and 106A in the cylinders C C C are forcing or have forced the spent steam therein into the adjacent casing 158 for venting through the connected exhaust conduit 176. It will be noted that the piston 106A, having completed the exhaust phase, is at top dead center in the cylinder C, relative to the righthand engine block 46. The piston heads 110 of the pistons 106 in the cylinders C C and of the piston 1063, are exposed to steam under the pressure, and it will be noted that the piston 1068 is now at the bottom dead center position relative to the right-hand engine block 46 (see FIG. 3).
The piston heads 108 in the cylinders C, C, are reversely covered by the adjacent casing 158, the casings at the opposed ends of the engine block 42 being 180 out of phase with respect to one another.
An operating cycle occurs when the steam pressure in the housing 22 is applied to the exposed piston heads at both ends of the engine block 42 which are not covered by one of the casings 158. Such pistons, obviously, are either at top dead center (the piston 106A, for example) or are in the process of moving to the bottom dead center position (that is, to the position of piston 1068), all relative to the right-hand engine block 46. Those pistons 106 which are in the process of moving from bottom dead center (1068) towards top dead center (106A) are protected from the steam pressure by the casings 158.
When steam pressure is applied to the head 110 of the piston 106A at its top dead center position, the piston is prevented from moving in the direction of the axis of the cylindrical bore C, by the spider 90, the radial rods 94 connecting with the remainder of the pistons 106, and the stationary track means 80. Hence, steam expansion in the cylinder C exerts a lateral force therein causing this cylinder and its piston 106A to rotate around the main body portion for an arcuate distance of 180 relative to the axis of the shafts 70 and 136 in order to assume the position of the piston 1068 in its cylinder C The steam pressure acting on the head 110 of the piston 106A exerts a force on its associated rod 94 causing it to slide in its associated slot 104 and to so draw the piston 106A from its top dead center position shown in FIG. 3 to its bottom dead center position indicated at 106B. The turning movement of the piston 106A and its cylinder C causes the corresponding turning movement of the shaft 136 as the engine block 42 turns the same number of degrees.
After turning 180, the piston 106A and its cylinder C, now occupy the position of the cylinder C and its piston 1068 which rotate for the next 180 under the protection of the adjacent casing 158, moving from bottom dead center to its original top dead center position as described above and as shown in FIG. 3.
It will be understood that while reference has been made only to the pistons 106A and 106B and their respective cylinders C and C these and the other pistons and cylinders of this motor will rotate and move in the manner described above, all at one time or another occupying the positions of the pistons 106A, 1068 and the positions of the cylinders C, and C,, while moving through an arc of 180".
Since it is the rotary movement of the pistons which causes the engine block 42 to rotate, and consequently the shaft 136, the pressure on the side walls of the cylinders C C, is relieved from the piston through the wheels 128 associated therewith, these reducing lateral wear on the piston heads 108, 110 and the rings 116.
The housing 22 is mounted by conventional means (not shown) in such a manner as to remain stationary at all times, but the stationary shaft may be made to rotate in its boss 32 relative to the housing 22. Any rotation of the shaft 70 causes a variance of the piston heads 108, 110 which are exposed to steam pressure and consequently causes a variance in the ascent or descent thereof. The casings 158 are connected to the stationary housing 22 at their respective ends of the engine and hence, rotation of the shaft 70 from 0 causes an increasing number of pistons which are in the process of moving towards top dead center to be exposed to the steam pressure, and this impedes the ascent of these pistons. A full 90 turn of the shaft 70 causes the steam pressure attempting to drive certain ones of the pistons down and certain ones upwardly to effect a pressure balance, and the engine will break or come to a standstill. Further rotation of the shaft 70 will reposition the pistons 106 in their respective cylinders and when steam under pressure is applied to the exposed cylinder heads, such steam pressure will cause the engine block to rotate in a reverse direction.
Having described and illustrated one embodiment of this invention in detail, it will be understood that the same is offered merely by way of example, and that this invention is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A steam engine comprising:
a substantially hollow normally stationary housing having a pair of opposed ends;
an elongated normally stationary first shaft having one end terminating internally of said housing;
an engine block mounted for rotation on said one end of said first shaft internally of said housing and in spaced relation relative thereto;
a power out-put second shaft having one end thereof rigidly connected on said engine block and its other end extending through and being journaled for rotation in an end of said housing;
said engine block having a plurality of substantially hollow cylinders formed therein radially spaced relative to the longitudinal axis of said first shaft, said cylinders having opposed open ports longitudinally spaced from one another relative to the longitudinal axis of said first shaft and said cylinders having longitudinal axes that lie in planes that are radial with respect to the longitudinal axis of said first shaft;
a piston mounted for reciprocation in each, respectively, of said cylinders, said pistons each including a piston head confronting one or the other of said ports;
means which will, upon the application of pressure against a piston head to move the piston along the longitudinal axis of its associated cylinder, simultaneously apply a lateral vector force on its associated cylinder that is transverse to the cylinder longitudinal axis;
means connecting the interior of said housing with a source of steam under pressure for application through said ports to apply steam pressure on the adjacent piston heads to drive said pistons in one direction of their relative reciprocable movement with respect to their cylinders while simultaneously applying said lateral vector force on said cylinders to effect a turning movement of said engine block about the longitudinal axis of said first shaft; and easing means, venting to the atmosphere, and closing those ports associated with those pistons which having reached the maximum travel in said one direction of movement are now reversing the direction of their reciprocable movement.
2. A steam engine as defined in claim 1 wherein:
said first and second shafts are coaxial relative to one another.
3. A steam engine as defined in claim 2 and wherein:
said cylinders are arranged in diametrically opposed pairs.
4. A steam engine as defined in claim 3 and:
means on said first shaft connecting each pair of pistons for reciprocable movement in their respective cylinders in reverse directions, respectively, as said engine block rotates.
5. A steam engine as defined in claim 4 wherein:
track means is provided on said first shaft, said track means including a susbstantially cylindrical main body portion disposed at an acute angle relative to the longitudinal axis of said first shaft;
a spider mounted for rotation on said main body portion;
each of said cylinders having a slot extending longitudinally thereof;
and said piston connecting means comprising a plurality of diametrically opposed rods radiating from said spider and extending through the slots of said diametrically opposed cylinders for connection with the adjacent ones of said pistons. 6. A steam engine as defined in claim 5 wherein: 5 said first shaft extends through and is rotatably journaled in the end of the housing remote from the housing and in which said second shaft is journaled; said casing means are located at the opposed ends of said engine block and are disposed, respectively,
substantially 180 away from one another; and wherein the turning of said first shaft relative to said housing adjusts the relative positions of said pistons in their respective said cylinders so as to control the speed of said engine block and, consequently, of said second shaft, and to effect the reversal of the turning movement of said engine block on said one end of said first shaft.
7. A steam engine as defined in claim 6 wherein:
roller means is fixedly secured on each head of each piston to eliminate lateral wear upon their respective piston heads.
8. A steam engine as defined in claim 7 wherein track means is provided for each end of said engine block, said last named track means each including means communicating with adjacent ones of said ports; and
each of said casings is provided with means slidable on said last named track means whereby the relative positions of said casings at each end of said engine block may be adjusted relative to one another.