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Giovanni Branca's steam machine, 1629

Giovanni Branca's steam machine, 1629

C022/8853

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Giovanni Branca's steam machine. Illustration of the steam machine proposed in 1629 by Italian engineer Giovanni Branca (1571-1645). Branca published this design in his book 'Le Machine' (1629), but did not build a working model. Steam produced by the heat of a fire (left) would have rotated the turbine at centre. A system of gears would have transferred the energy to a set of pistons (right) that would move up and down and grind wheat and other crops placed in the pestles. Artwork from 'Chaudieres et Machines a Vapeur' (1911) by French civil engineer Max de Nansouty (1854-1913), part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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