|Plate 19 of Falconer’s New Universal Dictionary of the Marine shows the details and internal workings of a typical chain pump.|
|The red arrows point to Constitution‘s pumps in this detail from Charles F. Waldo’s 1816 plan of the ship’s orlop deck. National Archives plan #14949|
had recently patented a new suction pump that operated without chains, and he eagerly showed it off to prospective buyers. Newspapers across the country printed the results of a December trial.
PATENT PUMPAgreeably to an advertisement of the subscriber, a number of gentlemen met at Vine-street
wharf on the 12th inst[ant- i.e., the 12th of the present month, in this case December 1796] among whom were John Barry, Esq. commander of the frigate United States, and Mr. Joshua Humphries, naval constructor, to see the performance of Bourke’s United States patent COPPER PUMP, which answer’d their most sanguine expectations. It deliver’d that day one hundred and fifty-four gallons of water, in thirty-five seconds of time, by several stop watches, and thirty-eight strokes of the pump break, although some water was lost: it also lifted up and discharged through the valves a quantity of stones and gravel, and a 4 pound shot. To all owners and masters of vessels this pump must be a valuable acquisition, where
lives and property are at stake—another advantage attending this pump is its simple construction; any mariner can put it in order. The chain pump is liable to choke, and requires more men to work it; this pump will not choke either with stones, gravel, or grain, and only requires four men to work it with the greatest power. Two men can work it, and discharge half a tun of water per minute. He can make them to accommodate small as well as large vessels. This pump, for which the subscriber has obtained a patent from the United States of America, and an exclusive privilege to make and vend the same, may be of effectual service to
all brewers, distillers, or in raising water to a great height in inland navigation, as well as to raise water for overshot mills. The subscriber may be spoke with at his shop in Water-street, opposite the Swedes church, and expects from the public the encouragement that his invention and attention may deserve.THEOBALD BOURKE. 
 Claypoole’s American Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia), 22 Dec. 1796.
James McHenry to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., 19 Dec. 1796, Secretary of the Navy Requisitions on the Secretary of the Treasury, RG45, National Archives.
James McHenry to Henry Jackson, 23 May 1797, Letters Sent by the War Department…, (M739), National Archives.
From notes on file at the USS Constitution Museum, taken from the Samuel Brown
Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
 “Extract from log of U.S. Frigate Constitution,Captain Silas Talbot, U.S. Navy, commanding, Friday, 13 September 1799,” in Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War Between the United States and France, vol. 4 (Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1936), 184.