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The British engineer, Sir Charles Parsons

The British engineer, Sir Charles Parsons

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The British engineer and inventor, Sir Charles Parsons, 1854-1931. Parsons studied in Dublin and Cambridge. Joining an engineering firm which dealt with electric lighting, he saw the need for a high speed engine to drive dynamos. He improved the steam engine as designed by Watt a century before, and patented a multi-stage steam turbine in 1884. Steam directed at the rim blades of a wheel was more efficient than first driving a piston. Then he developed his turbines for marine use devising reduction gearing for propellor blades. By 1906 they were fitted into a warship. Parsons went on to design searchlights for naval use and large telescopes. He was knighted in 1911.

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