Hero of Alexandria's steam engine

Hero of Alexandria's steam engine

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hero of Alexandria's steam engine. Illustration of 1st century AD mathematician and engineer Hero of Alexandria demonstrating his aeolipile to savants at the Museum of Alexandria. This device consisted of a hollow sphere mounted on hollow tubes connected to a cauldron of boiling water. Steam entered the sphere through the tubes and escaped through two vents, causing it to revolve. Similar to a rocket engine, this is considered to be the first recorded steam turbine. Artwork from 'Chaudieres et Machines a Vapeur' (1911) by French civil engineer Max de Nansouty (1854-1913), part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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