The Genesis of the Steam Engine
In the eighteenth century, people began to harness new resources to use to help with farm-ing. An English military engineer, Thomas Sav-ery, invented a water pump for mines. It later evolved into a coal-powered steam engine developed by Thomas Newcomen. Another man, James Watt, later improved Newcomen’s invention in 1764. The steam engine was the doorway to powering locomotives and steamships.
Savery’s invent-tion, the water pump, was also known as the Miner’s Friend. It was a machine that had no moving parts, consisted of a simple boiler, a steam chamber whose valves were located on the surface and a pipe that leading to the water in the mine below. It heated water in the boil-er chamber until its steam filled the chamber forcing out any remaining water. Savery’s partner, Thomas Newcomen, developed a coal-pow-ered steam engine. Later on, a man named James Watt improved the in-vention even further in 1764. Watt’s improve-ment on the steam en-gine was more suffi-cient. It didn’t need to be reheated and used one-third less fuel than Newcomen’s engine.
The Evolution of the Steam Engine
American inven-tor, Oliver Evans, designed the first high-pressure, non-conden-sing engine. This sta-tionary engine operated at 30 revolutions per minute and was used to power a marble-cut-ting saw. The high-pressure engines used large cylindrical tanks of water heated from beneath to produce steam. Steam was successfully adapted to powerboats and railways. Later, some of the first automobiles were powered by steam.
An English engineer, Charles A. Parson, produced the first turbine. By the twentieth century, the steam engine evolved into a very sophisticated and powerful machine that gave ships the ability to sail on oceans and ran generators that conducted electricity.
The steam engine was a very popular resource to use in its time, but overtime, it became less popular due to other power sources.