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Newcomen's atmospheric steam engine for coal mine

Newcomen's atmospheric steam engine for coal mine

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Newcomen's steam engine. Engraving of Newcomen's atmospheric steam engine which pumped water out of coal mines. This device, invented in 1707, had a vertical cylinder (marked 'C') into which steam was admitted. The steam forced a piston to the top of the cylinder before it was condensed by a spray of water. Atmospheric pressure forced the piston back down again. This motion moved a pivoted beam (at upper centre) which powered a pump (at bottom right corner). Though inefficient, the machine was sold in large quantities and allowed the mining of deep reserves of coal. It was superceded by James Watt's steam engine design in 1769. Illustration of a mine at Griff, Warwickshire, England, in 1717.

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