Tubular boiler

 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Energy & Mining
Mechanical Engineering
1800 - 1849
  • Dietmar Linzbacher
Munich sends greetings to Vienna: ‘Just like the cloak of St. Martin,’ this Alban tubular boiler has been divided between the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) and the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

Wilhelm Exner maintains excellent relations with the Deutsches Museum and its founder, Oskar von Miller. The Alban tubular boiler is a symbol of this German-Austrian friendship. ‘Just like the cloak of St. Martin’ (a quote by the former director, Ludwig Erhard, in 1941), the original was cut in two and both halves exhibited in their respective museums.

This boiler represents a particularly important step in the development of steam boiler construction. From around 1800, the steam generating capacity of standard rectangular and Cornish boilers was no longer sufficient for the newly developed steam engines. In order to enlarge the heating surface and the capacity, water-filled pipes were passed through the combustion chamber.

From 1840, the German doctor and inventor Ernst Alban developed tubular boilers that withstood steam pressure of up to 10 bar. The water was also partially evaporated in the slightly inclined pipes. The water-steam mixture flowed through two vertical water chambers to the upper cylindrical boiler shells. Here the steam and water were separated. In the central shell, shown here as a cut-away, there is a lever safety valve and a steam dome for steam tapping.

Manufacturer: Ernst Alban, Plau (Mecklenburg)
Date of origin: 1859
Previous owner: Deutsches Museum, Munich

Inv.Nr. 829

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