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Carlisle & Finch Hydro - Dynamo

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Posted 5 years ago

(183 items)

This Hydro - Dynamo is fron the late 1800's and mfg. by The Carlisle & Finch Co. (known for their early toy electric trains).
It has a water motor on the end of the unit where water was fed into the hole on the side as pictured. The water enters through a jet which increases the pressure. The directed pressurized water rotates a series of cupped wheels and the attached shaft rotates the armature where carbon brushes generates electricity.
The dynamo was set on the sink to catch the expelling water and the electricity generated from the dynamo could run small appliances using only the fast flowing water.
I knew that a dynamo can be either a generator or a motor. Depending whether you were turning an armature via a pulley, or if you were putting voltage to the brushes, you can make them do either.
I put a 12 VDC battery to the terminals and the armature started spinning. This tells me that if I would run enough water at the speed that the armature is spinning, I would generate 12 Volts. Thanks for your interest............ hotairfan.


  1. genevieve genevieve, 5 years ago
    Very cool!
  2. Roycroftbooksfromme1 Roycroftbooksfromme1, 5 years ago
    very nice .........
  3. rick3335, 4 years ago
    At some point in time, should you decide to sell this water motor, I would be interested. I collect and show at the local engine and tractor shows. My speciality is in generating electricity ( early 40's farm lite plants ), pumping water and anything to do with corn ( shelling,husking, grinding,milling). Thank-You. Rick Stone, Gray Summit, Mo. 314/750/2314 My displays are set up for educational purposes, primarily for city raised folks, both young and older, who have never before been exposed first hand to how things were done on the farm. Especially prior to rural electrification. Thanks, RICK
  4. hotairfan hotairfan, 4 years ago
    To Rick3335,
    Thanks for the interest Rick. I too spend a lot of time educating folks at grade schools, historical societies, old folk homes, and farm shows as to how our forefathers lived and flourished. My hit/miss engines are getting heavier every year just setting in the barn, so I build and run model engines now and power miniature farm tools. I really do like to display my homestead tools and get a kick when somebody finds them interesting. Take a look at some of the other items that I listed. I think that you will find them interesting........ hotairfan keep in touch, contact me at:
  5. hotairfan hotairfan, 4 years ago
    I recently found out some interesting information about this Carlisle & Finch Hydro - Dynamo. I was told , by a reliable source that Carlisle & Finch Co. was the first company to market electric toy trains. I was told that they came out with this Hydro-Dynamo to power the electric trains if there was no electric service to your community (some farm communities didn't get serviced by the power co. even in the early 1950's). You placed the Hydro-Dynamo in the sink and ran water through it to generate 12 VDC to power their electric toy trains. ,,,,hotairfan
  6. lzenglish lzenglish, 4 years ago
    Excellent Find, as Usual! Back in the 80's when i was an energy nut, i almost purchased the modern version of your generator. Funny how things in life go full circle. The part of this design that no one wanted to talk about, was what do you do with all the wasted water that is dumping out of the unit, after one pass thru the impeller?! lol Thanks for Showing it!
  7. Bugguy Bugguy, 2 years ago
    Why don't you contact Carlisle & Finch in Cincinnati, OH.? They have a company historian and with a serial number, just might be able to give you more history. They helped me with my spotlights - I posted the actual entry from their sales ledger.

    Jerry Pennington, a sales guy at C & F, was my connection, or Greg Batsche. Jerry will remember the pair of 1940's spotlights I brought in about a year ago. (513-681-6080 or send Jerry a picture:

    Also, check out my posting for WWII spotlights.
  8. hotairfan hotairfan, 2 years ago
    Thanks a bunch Bugguy,
    I'll contact them today, and I'll look at your postings to see other C & F items

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