Stills similar to the one represented in this drawing were used to make distilled liquors and were commonly used in America during the early 19th-century. And their “descendants” are still being found in the mountains of rural America!
A preview of an exhibit planned for 2015 here at the National Archives: “Spirited Republic.”
Eli Barnum & Benj. Brooks Still Design Patent, 1808
Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, National Archives Identifier 305887