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Print - A Brief History of the Steam Engine - Popular Mechanics

Print - A Brief History of the Steam Engine - Popular Mechanics

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Published by Meor Amri

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Published by: Meor Amri on Nov 26, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A Brief History of the Steam Engine
Steam has powered trains, cars, boats, and trolleys. Here's the story of the little engine that could.
First Century
Greek engineer Hero ofAlexandria designs the firststeam engine; it has apedestal, an altar, and arotating ball—but no practicaluse.
Print - A Brief History of the Steam Engine - Popular Mechanicshttp://www.popularmechanics.com/print-this/a-brief-history-of-the-ste...1 of 511/26/2012 3:39 PM
French inventor Denis Papinbuilds a cooker that trapssteam inside a vessel. Afteradding a valve to keep thedevice from exploding, heconceives of a piston andcylinder concept using steam.
The first vehicle to moveunder its own power, theCugnot Steam Trolley, isconstructed. The machineneeds to stop every 15minutes to build power, and onits first trip around Paris in1770, it crashes into a wall.(Lucky for the wall, thetrolley's top speed is only 2mph.)
Print - A Brief History of the Steam Engine - Popular Mechanicshttp://www.popularmechanics.com/print-this/a-brief-history-of-the-ste...2 of 511/26/2012 3:39 PM
Scottish engineer James Wattimproves on ThomasNewcomen's engine design —which uses atmosphericpressure to help drive apiston—by adding a separatecylinder for cold water so themachine won't waste energyheating and cooling the pistoncylinder.
English engineer GeorgeStephenson builds the firststeam locomotive to run onrails. The locomotive carries30 tons of coal 450 feet uphillat 4 mph. He later constructsthe world's first publicrailways.
American inventor GeorgeCorliss receives a patent forthe valve gear that leads tothe Corliss steam engine,which has four valves foreach cylinder and steam andexhaust valves at each end.
Print - A Brief History of the Steam Engine - Popular Mechanicshttp://www.popularmechanics.com/print-this/a-brief-history-of-the-ste...3 of 511/26/2012 3:39 PM

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