The design of the Downton pump sought to create a more constant flow of pumped liquid, and a steadier load-state on the pump, by increasing the number of buckets operating in the pump. These buckets were actuated by means of a rotating crankshaft and connecting rods, which caused the buckets to reciprocate up and down, with each feeding the next with liquid. Hebert (1836) contains a description and cut-away illustration of an early Downton pump.
The power source for the pump could be either mechanical or human, with human-powered Downton pumps being operated by means of a capstan.
- Knight, John (1827). Mechanics Magazine. London. p. 316.
Mr. Jonathan Downton, shipwright, of Blackwall, has taken out a patent for a new pump
- Catalogue of the Mechanical Engineering Collection in the Science Division of the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, Various Authors. ISBN 1-4067-8053-7, ISBN 978-1-4067-8053-6
- Description and photographs of the Downton pump
- Hebert, Luke (1836). The Engineer's and Mechanic's Encyclopædia, v.2. London: Thomas Kelly. p. 357.