One who governs. In the United States system, a governor is an elected official who governs a state. There are 50 governors in the US. They act as the executive branch at the state level.

The spinning pair of steel balls bobbing up and down on an antique steam roller.

At rest the balls hang loose. As the motor turns, the balls spin and lift due to centrifugal force, and in so doing restrict the flow of fuel or steam to the engine, slowing it down again. As it slows, so the balls fall, in comes more fuel and up they go again.

One of the few things I remember from my history lessons, along with "Boulton and Watt's double acting rotative steam engine".

Gov"ern*or (?), n. [OE. governor, governour, OF. governeor, F. gouverneur, fr. L. gubernator steersman, ruler, governor. See Govern.]

1.

One who governs; especially, one who is invested with the supreme executive authority in a State; a chief ruler or magistrate; as, the governor of Pennsylvania.

"The governor of the town."

Shak.

2.

One who has the care or guardianship of a young man; a tutor; a guardian.

3. Naut.

A pilot; a steersman.

[R.]

4. Mach.

A contrivance applied to steam engines, water wheels, and other machinery, to maintain nearly uniform speed when the resistances and motive force are variable.

⇒ The illustration shows a form of governor commonly used for steam engines, in wich a heavy sleeve (a) sliding on a rapidly revolving spindle (b), driven by the engine, is raised or lowered, when the speed varies, by the changing centrifugal force of two balls (c c) to which it is connected by links (d d), the balls being attached to arms (e e) which are jointed to the top of the spindle. The sleeve is connected with the throttle valve or cut-off through a lever (f), and its motion produces a greater supply of steam when the engine runs too slowly and a less supply when too fast.

Governor cut-off Steam Engine, a variable cut-off gear in which the governor acts in such a way as to cause the steam to be cut off from entering the cylinder at points of the stroke dependent upon the engine's speed. -- Hydraulic governor Mach., a governor which is operated by the action of a liquid in flowing; a cataract.

 

© Webster 1913.

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