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Steam engine, USLHS tender Oak

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Steam engine, USLHS tender Oak
Smithsonian Institution


This object appears in the following sections:

Transportation Technology Videos — Transportation technology

USLH tender Oak profile

Oak crew shoveling coal

Steam Engine, USLHS tender Oak
Catalog #: 1979.0518.01, Accession #: 1979.0518
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
Built by John W. Sullivan in New York, New York, this 750 horsepower, triple expansion steam engine was installed new in the US Lighthouse Service's tender Oak. The steam was furnished by one 3-furnace boiler of the Scotch type using coal as fuel. In 1934 it was converted to oil-burning furnaces. In addition to the engine, the Smithsonian collected other parts of the Oak's power plant, including pumps, a generator, condenser, the steering engine, pipes, tools, and related equipment. The engine has been on display at the National Museum of American History since 1978.
Physical Description

Artifact. Triple expansion steam engine, 750 horsepower, having three cylinders, the smallest measuring 13.5" in diameter, the middle measuring 22" in diameter, and the largest measuring 36" in diameter. The overall dimensions of the engine are 12' H x 12'5" W x 5'6" D.

Date Made:
Dates Used:
1921 - 1964
New York
New York harbor and surrounding waters
Transfer from U.S Coast Guard
The USLHS buoy tender Oak was built at the Consolidated Shipbuilding Corporation, Bronx, NY, in 1921. Its length overall was 160 feet, breadth 30 feet, and draft 10 feet six inches. Oak was assigned to the Third Lighthouse District where her home port was Staten Island, New York. The Oak's crew maintained aids to navigation in and around New York harbor, including the Hudson and East Rivers, as well as Long Island Sound. They also supplied lighthouses and lightships in the area and provided occasional assistance to vessels in distress. The crew consisted of two officers and 25 crew members, including the engine room complement of an engineer, assistant engineer, and oilers. In 1971 the original engine and auxiliaries were removed for the Smithsonian Institution's transportation collections.
Related People, Places, and Events
John W. Sullivan

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