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US Patent: 233,692
Lester A. Pelton - Camptonville, CA

USPTO Classifications:
415/185, 415/202

Tool Categories:


George Allan's Foundry and Machine Works - Nevada City, CA
Pelton Water Wheel Co. - San Francisco, CA

Frank A. Brooks
S. H. Nourse

Patent Dates:
Applied: Jul. 03, 1880
Granted: Oct. 26, 1880

Patent Pictures: [ 1 | 2 ]
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"Vintage Machinery" entry for Pelton Water Wheel Co.
Wikipedia article on Pelton wheel
This is the famous Pelton wheel, a very efficient turbine water wheel. It is designed to use the momentum of the water rather than its weight, and does so more effectively than previous impulse designs. Pelton's design was an improvement on one by Samuel N. Knight (patent 158,591); the improvement was to use pairs of cups so that the water stream could be kept centered on the middle of the wheel, which improved the efficiently compared to the off-center Knight design.

According to the Wikipedia article on this invention, Pelton had developed a prototype by the mid-1870s. Beginning in 1879, commercial models were produced by George Allan's Foundry and Machine Works (also known as the Miners Foundry) in Nevada City. In 1888, with the Miners Foundry not able to keep up with demand, Pelton sold the rights to the newly formed Pelton Water Wheel Company in San Francisco.

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