CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Newcomen's engine. Computer artwork of the steam engine patented by Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) in 1705, which was used to pump water out of coal mines. The Newcomen atmospheric engine was the first to have a 'walking beam' pivoted arm (upper left) to transfer power between the piston (centre) and the 'rod' (chain at left end of arm). The boiler (bottom right) released steam into the cylinder containing the piston. As the valve between the boiler and piston cylinder closed another opened that sprayed a small quantity of cold water from a tank (upper left). This caused the steam in the cylinder to condense, creating a partial vacuum in the cylinder that drew the piston down and thus the rod up. Opening of the valve between the boiler and cylinder.
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