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Portrait of the English engineer, Thomas Savery

Portrait of the English engineer, Thomas Savery

H419/0274

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Thomas Savery. Portrait of the English engineer, Thomas Savery (1650-1715). Savery built the first steam operated pump to be used during the Industrial Revolution. He called it "the Miner's Friend" as it was used to pump water out of mine shafts. It was the first practical steam "engine". The pump worked by filling a closed vessel with steam and then condensing the steam with cold water. The resulting vacuum sucked water into the vessel through a one way valve. The engine was patented in 1698 and the initial design could raise water by about 6 metres.

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