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Pictures of an Unrestored Aeolian
Themodist Wind Motor (or Air Motor)

(see article explaining the pictures below)
























Hi All,

I looked through the Archives and found a series of postings about rebuilding the motor that were written back in January and February of 2010. In one of them, there was a mention of some pictures that the writer had taken, and some problem about getting them into the Gallery/Technical. Was that ever resolved?

Also, there are a couple of very descriptive treatises about the various steps and measurements for the cloth and the leather.

What I'm wondering is; Does anyone have any pictures of an original motor before it was dismantled? The reason I ask is because I have seen at least two different methods used with regards to the pouch leather seal at the hinged end. The most common method involves a strip of leather that's almost two inches wide which covers the stationary side as well as the movable board. The other method uses one inch punchings which are centered over the hinge. However, I can't swear that the later method is an original configuration. On the other hand, I can swear that the former is an original configuration, as evidenced by the pictures of a 'virgin' motor that is currently in the shop. I've posted those pictures at:


I believe they show a few things pretty conclusively:

1) The pouch leather strip is two inches wide. 2) The cloth covering terminates 1/2" before the hinge. 3) The span of the bellows is 2-3/4". 4) The maximum possible span is 3".

So, since the maximum span is 3" but the correct span is only 2-3/4", there is a 1/4" gap on the opposing bellow when its 'partner' bellows is fully open (with cloth in place). Obviously, this means that under no circumstance can either bellows fully collapse and crease the cloth, which would, no doubt, increase the life span of the cloth.

Interestingly, a couple of the people who posted articles back in 2010 about rebuilding the motor said that the span should be 3". The problem I have with that should be fairly obvious. If the maximum distance the bellows "can" open is 3", then once one side of the pair is covered, it's theoretically impossible for the other side to open 3" because the thickness of the cloth on the opposite bellow. But putting that impossibility aside for a moment, the other thing that's troubling is the fact that the cloth on the opposite bellows would have to be 'crushed' tightly, creating a permanent crease that would never go away while its partner would not have an identical permanent crease (unless the crease was imparted to the cloth before the opposing side was covered. (I hope that is written so it's understandable). Therefore, the amount of effort required to open and close the two bellows would be different -as a result of the crease.

All this leads me to believe that one other author, who said that the span of the bellows should be set such that there is a 1/4" gap on the opposing side, has the right idea, and his opinion seems to me to be in agreement with the measurements I extracted from the original motor in my shop. Furthermore, if you look at the last two pictures in the series (see link above), you will note that the crankshaft limits the movement of the bellow such that it is 2-3/8" when full open and 1-3/8" when fully closed. Therefore, a span of 2-3/4" is more than enough to prevent any 'stretching' of the cloth -which, of course, would be problematic.

In closing, all of this research has left me believing that Aeolian must have made more than one size of this type of motor. While the differences between the one I checking and the ones mentioned in previous postings are relatively slight, they are different. And, it's hard for me to believe that the people who took the measurements of the motors they examined were any less diligent than I was when I took my measurements. However, the things that stand out in my mind as "most important" are:

1) The leather strip is 2" wide, and there is a 1/2" space between the end of the cloth and the hinge.

2) The span should be set such that there is a 1/4" space between the stationary board and the movable board on the opposing bellow.

John A Tuttle
Brick, NJ, USA

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