Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography

Technology Henry R. Worthington

Henry R. Worthington

Henry R. Worthington (December 17, 1817 – December 17, 1880)

Patents held by Henry R. Worthington

Patent Number
1 U.S. Patent 3,424 Feb. 2, 1844 Improvement in propelling canal and other boats

2 U.S. Patent 3,677 Jul. 26, 1844 Manner of constructing and governing auxiliary steam-engines
for the purpose of supplying steam-boilers with water.

3 U.S. Patent 4,972 Feb. 20, 1847 Apparatus for gaging the height of water in boilers.
With William H. Baker
4 U.S. Patent 6,274 Apr. 3, 1849 Method of insuring the action of the valves in direct-action pumping-engines.
With William H. Baker
5 U.S. Patent 13,320 Jul. 24, 1855 Water-Meter
6 U.S. Patent 13,370 Jul. 31,1855 Direct-acting hydraulic steam-pump
Patent Model
7 U.S. Patent 14,749 Apr. 22, 1856 Completing the throw of the valves of direct-acting engines by the exhaust-steam
8 U.S. Patent 15,030 Jun. 3, 1856 Method of attaching stems to conical valves

9 U.S. Patent 15,400 Jul. 22, 1856 Relieving steam slide-valves from pressure
10 U.S. Patent 24,838 Jul. 19, 1859 Improvement in pumping-engines

11 U.S. Patent 116,131 July 20, 1871 Improvement in steam pumping-engines
Patent Model

1856 "Worthington's Safety Steam Pump, and Fire Engine," Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), October 21, 1856, Page 1.

1856 Illustrated American Advertiser: The Historical Picture Gallery; Or, Scenes & Incidents in American History, a Collection of Interesting & Thrilling Narratives from the Written & Unwritten, Legendary & Traditionary, History of the United States, Volume 5

1876 The Worthington Steam Pumping Engine: History of Its Invention and Development, by Henry R. Worthington

1880 “American Industries. No. 55. The Manufacture of Pumping Engines and Water Meters,” Scientific American 43:149 (September 4, 1880)

1883 Worthington steam pumping engines : compound, condensing or non-condensing, for city water works, boiler feed pumps wrecking pumps, mining pumps, pumps for hydraulic pressure ... and brass casting, water meters, oil meters

1887 The Worthington Steam Pumping Engine: History of Its Invention and Development. Consideration of Its Duty Performances. Its Application to Reservoir, Standpipe and Direct Pressure Systems of Water Supply. Description of Worthington Water Meters, Etc, by Henry R. Worthington

1888 General Catalogue of Worthington Pumping Engines, Steam Pumps & Hydraulic Machinery, November 15, 1888

1889 The Worthington High-duty Pumping Engine, Patented: Trials of Engines Constructed by Messrs. James Simpson & Co. Limited, 101, Grosvenor Road, London, S.W., Sole Licensees for Making Mr. C.C. Worthington's Patented High-duty Worthington Engine

1889 The Worthington high duty pumping engine at l'Exposition universelle de 1889

1892 "Worthington Duplex Steam Pumps," advertisement from The California Architect and Building News 13(4):xvi (April, 1892)

1892 Duty and Capacity Tests of Worthington High Duty Pumping Engines on Water Work and Pipe Line Services, by Henry R. Worthington

1894 Charles C. Worthington et al. v. The City of Boston, 152 U.S. 695, April 9, 1894, United States Supreme Court

1894 The Worthington Water Meter: In Its Application to the Measurement of Water for Domestic and Manufacturing Purposes : Hot Water Meters, Oil Meters, Naphtha Meters, Etc., Etc

1895 General Catalogue of Worthington Pumping Engines, Steam Pumps, and Hydraulic Machinery.  July 15, 1895.

1897 Worthington steam pumps, electric pumps, condensers and water meters

1897 The Worthington Cooling Tower

1900 General Catalog No. 29 Worthington Pumping Engines, Steam Pumps and Hydraulic Machinery.  January 1, 1900

1900 Henry R. Worthington List of Water Works Pumping Engines (Sixth Edition) January 1, 1900

1900 Worthington Rotative Dry Vacuum Pump

1909 "Duty trial of a 40,000,000-gal. duplex triple expansion Worthington pumping engine," by Eugene Campbell McMillan, Thesis for Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois, June 1909.  Springfield Avenue Pumping Station in Chicago.

1916 Guaranty Trust Co. of New York v. International Steam Pump Co., 231 Fed. 594, February 16, 1918, Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

1932 "International Steam Pump Company:  An Episode in American Corporate History," by M.J. Fields, in Journal of Economic and Business History 4(4):637-646 (August, 1932)

1940 100 years, 1840-1940, Worthington, by Worthington Pump and Machinery Corporation

1947 Henry R. Worthington (1817-1880) and his Influence upon American Industry, by Clarence E. Searle.

1980 “The Diffusion of Technology in the Nineteenth Century American City: Municipal Water Supply Investments,” Letty Donaldson Anderson (PhD dissertation, Northwestern University, 1980)
Page 115:  The "franchise system" mentioned in the Engineering News editorial [
Engineering News. 17:140, February 26, 1887] was a result of the development in the late 1860s of standard water works pumping engines, most notably those of the Holly and Washington companies. These equipment manufacturers actively sought franchises for municipal systems in the early 1870s and succeeded rapidly; by 1878, 105 towns had installed Worthington engines or systems, and 70 towns had Holly systems.  [Worthington never sought or received a water works franchise, in 1876 he wrote: "the writer's connection with Water-works is limited to the Pumping machinery."  Holly actively promoted his direct pressure system and offered turnkey design and construction services, but the company never sought or received a franchise before he left the company in 1876.  The Holly Manufacturing Company afterwards secured two franchises for systems that were constructed:  Adrian, Michigan in 1883, and Hutchinson, Kansas in 1885.  By 1895, about 125 Holly systems had been built, while the company had sold 494 pumping engines, compared with 1,192 pumping engines sold by Worthington through 1892.]

1984 "The Evolution of the Urban Infrastructure in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries," by Joel A. Tarr, from Perspectives on Urban Infrastructure, Royce Hanson, Editor.
Page 32: Facilitating the distribution of these improved methods throughout the urban network were the marketing practices of the two largest pump manufactures (Holly and Worthington), who offered municipalities an entire water package including source recommendations, engineering and construction plans, and pumps. These two corporations secured franchises for their systems in thousands of towns and cities (Anderson, 1980: 12–23).

1985 "Water, Electricity and Cable Television: A Study of Contrasting Historical Patterns of Ownership and Regulation", by Joel A. Tarr, Steven Klepper, Charles Jacobson in Cahier / Groupe Réseaux 1(3):2-31 (1985)
Page 3:  An important development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries involved the relationships that developed between many municipalities and the two largest firms
manufacturing pump and distribution equipment, the Holly Manufacturing Company and the Worthington Pump Manufacturing Company. These firms actively solicited water franchises. In hundreds of towns they constructed works at their own expense in exchange for franchises. Often the franchises guaranteed them an annual rent from the city in exchange for providing a specified number of fire hydrants. However, rather than manage these franchises, they usually sold the-n to other groups of investors. The success of Holly and Worthington led to the entry into the market of other private construction firms and the development of a competitive market for equipment supply and construction. [Citation: Engineering News. Feb. 26. 1887]

1994 "The Development of Water Works in the United States," by Charles D. Jacobson and Joel A. Tarr, in Aqueducts by  André Guillerme, in Rassegna: Themes in Architecture 57:37-41 (March 1994)
Page 38:  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, municipalities and the two largest firms (Holly and Worthington) manufacturing pump and distribution equipment often formed relationship.  These firms actively solicited water franchises, and in hundreds of towns they constructed works at their own expense in exchange for the franchise.

2016  Worthington Direct-Acting Simplex Steam Pump from the USS Monitor.  Good history of Worthington's life and engines.

Worthington's 170 Year History of "Forward Thinking Machinery"

© 2018 Morris A. Pierce