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Steam engine. Historical engraving of Old Bess, a steam engine designed by the British engineer James Watt (1735-1819). It was the first engine to give rotary rather than pumping motion. Watt's engine also drove steam out of a cylinder to be condensed in a separate vessel. Previous engines, based on a design by Newcomen, condensed the steam within the cylinder which was far less efficient. Watt patented his design in 1769 and by 1772 had entered into a highly profitable partnership with Matthew Boulton in Birmingham. Whilst Boulton supplied capital, Watt continuously refined his design until his retirement in 1800. Old Bess was installed in Watt's Birmingham works in 1778.
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