tion by its reaction on the atmosphere." â€” Stuart o7i tkeSttam-
Engine, Loudon, 1829.
Now for a long interval, not forgetting on the way Anthemius
of Lydia, one of the architects of Justinian employt;d on the
Church of St. Sophia at Constantinople (a. d.o40). This skillful
man imprisoned ste:im in a long pipe which proceeded from a
caldron of boiling water, and caused a vibration and a roaring
noise which shook the house and scared the inmates, it is not
certain what the good man was after, or that anything of note
resulted, unless the report be true that he ^ras only annoying
the orator Zeno, who lived next door, and there practiced his
Gerbert of Kheims, A, D. ICtOO, had an organ played by steam :
probably a blast of steam as a substitute for air ; not an engine.
I As Europe emerged from the transition period, called the
I Micldle Ages, Italy^tonk the lead in arts and science.^, as thÂ«
names of Leonardo da Vinci. Baptista
Porta, Galileo, and others will indi-
Leonardo da Tinci's steam-j
(a. n 1500) is noticed under that
head See Steam-GUN.
Brancas (a. D- 1629) had a
copper boiler and eduction-
pipe, the steam is.Â«uiug
from which rotuteil the
Crane at MiddUsborou^h Docks, England.
B::e*st-whff,i. Steam-engixe (which seel.
Baptista Porta (about a. n lÂ»jl*") contrived an apparatus for
exbibiiin;: the power of .etcani (J, Fig. 5654). Steam generated
in a flask below and introduced into a water-chamber raised the
'Lcs Raisons des Forces JIou-
' 'â€¢ '' '-"vrvc
water in the di^harge-pipe. as in the accompanying figure
HiÂ« description is too long for insertion.
Solomon De Caus, perhaps a mythical personage, about 1620,
is said to have written a book,
vantes," and to have invented
an engine somewhat after the
style of the annexed cut [B).
This is like Hero's devices.
The spherical ve>:?el a has a
nozzle and stop-cock at b, and
another at d through which
water may he introduced by
means of a syringe. The pipe
leading ft'om nozzle b near-
ly touched the bottom of the
sphere- Water is introduced
as required, and the pressure j
of steam raises a. let of water.
Tlie fiction of Solomon Be â–
Cans has been used to deprive Baptista Porta's De Cans'
the inventors of the steam- ^Vatfr-E!f valor. IVatfr-EUmtor,
engine of their just reputa-
tion. The romance recites how the Marquis of Worcester, at
the asylum of Bicetre, saw a miserable man in a cage, who
cried, " I am not mad I I am not mini ! I have made a dis-
covery,'* etc., etc. Kartber, that tlie huok of the captive, the
said .Solomou I)e Cuus, wius exhibited to tlie Marquis, who jiro-
utmticed the uiadiium the greatest geuius of the age. Tlie idea
tonic with an iiuagiiuitivu people, and beeaiiie a subject for
painters aud dramatists. Finally, grave writers on mechanics
aud cutiipilers of dictionaries inserted the name of Be Cans as
tlÂ»e inventor of the steam-engine.
The anthority fnr all wiis a letter, purporting to have been
written in VMl by Marion de Lorme t<i her Inver, Cinti Mars.
Mr .Muirhead, in liis lile of Watt, iniglit exclaim, " tiee how
pliiin a tale shall put thee down I"' There was, says he, no Mar-
tini.-* of \Vorcc:*ter in Iti-ll. The title of Marquis was not con-
ferreii till lt>42, and then upon Henry ^omei-set, the father of
the .Marquis, the author of " The Oentury of Inventions," and
the person who was doin^ the mad-honse. A French historian
farther cites that SolouÂ»on De Caus could hardly have been seen
at Uicetre in ltj4l in a raving condition, as he died in 1030 ;
and farther, that Bicetre was not a ho.spital in lfj3U or 1641.
At all events, the device of De Caus' fountain is inferior to
that of Porta, as the boiler and water-chamber are not distinct
in the Pinner.
Next in the line we behold the Marqui.s of Worcester, who so
faithfully adhered to the faithless Charles 1 and his fortunes,
losing his own. Following the style of his day, he wrote in a
mysterious manner, veiling his devices in superlatives, and leav-
ing his ''Century of Invention8"asahundred " nutstocnu-k "
for future generations. iMany teeth have been ruined on them,
and it U shrewdly suspecteil that some of tln-m are all shell, â€”
a stony endocarp without a kernel, l^werfui jaws are still at
The Marquis of Worcester's " water commanding engine,"
as he called it, was patented to hiui in 1(>33, and wa.s cxhIbit^^^
in action at his works
at Vauxhall, London.
(See an elaborate but
too p:irtial digest of au-
thorities by Dircks in
his Memoir of the Mar-
quis, London, IStio.)
The accompanying cut
is by Mr. Dircks, de-
duced from the data in
his possession, of the
a a' , two cold-water ves-
sels ; i 6', the steam-
pipe ; c, the boiler ; </,
the furnace; c, the educ-
tion water-pipe, con-
nected by branching
pipes /"/â– ' to the vessels ;
, ??', water-supply pipv^'s;
' A, the well. On the
steam-pipe b b' is i, a
four - way steam - cock
operated by its lever
handle. On the hori-
zontal portion of pipe
//' is a fiiur-way water-
cock j operated by its
The four-way cock
is generally credited to
Watt, but this seems to
Marquis of Worcester's Water-E'.ecator. antii-ipiite him. It is
the ocigiual valve, and
still has its u^es, though iU glory hiis sadly departed.
The Wureesler apparatus was in no proper sense an eni;ine,
but a water-raising appanitus ; an expensive kind of pump. It
was called by him a '* water-commanding engine "; and Watt'.s
engine was denominated by him a 'â– tire-eugine " Upon this
question of names Tomlinson very justly remarks: â€”
" If the name * tire-engine ' had been reuined, we should
not have hud to consider the absurd questions about ' supersed-
ing steam.' Steam is not the agent, but only the medium or
iustrnment by or through which it acts, as our will acts by
means of muscles, which it has the power of contracting. All
that is required in this medium is materialitv.and the property
of filling more or less .Â«paceby the action of fuel upon it. Steam,
or rather water, is selected on account of its abundance, â– ' and
other good qualities.
Air i3 the only otlier costless material : and while it probably
will not produce a greater motive elTect than water witli a given
increment of heat, it h:w the disadvantage of requiring a very
much larger body of the medium to carry the .said increment,
and a corresponding increase m the capacity of the vessels in
which the pressure is utilised, say the cylinder of the engine.
Air also requires a more perfect packing, and lubrication of the
surfaces is more imperative with dry air tlian with wet steam,
as well as being less residily effected- Tomlinson well states that
"a liquid expanding into an air has immense- advantages over
a body retaining either state unchansred. The change of state
always involves a change <tf bulk far greater than the same
change of temperature wuulil produce on a body retaining even
the aeriform or most expansible state. It seems indeed propor-
' tional, not to the change of sensible but of total heat, most of
which becomes latent in the aeriform body.
" This absorption of heat is advantageous in several ways : It
greatly diminishes the dithculty of retaining the heat where it
is wanted, since nnly the ^ensiblo and not the latent heat tends
to spi-cjid and equalize itself. It keeps the whole machine cooler
than it must otherwise be, by the whole amuunt rendered la-
tent, which in steam isnear 1,000'*, or enough, if sensible, to pro-
duce a retf heat, Lastly, it leads to a uiost useful phenomenon
which could never happen with a body retiiiuing one consbnit
stiitf, such as air. Air ever so hot, and ever so cold, mixed to-
getner, would Occupy nearly the Siime bulk as before the mix-
ture ; but steam coming in contact with such a body of water, so
much colder than itself that the total heat of both is in,Â»uflicient
to keep both vaporous, is suddenly condensed, and the whole, be-
coming water, occupies some hundreds of times less spat c than
; when the steam and water were separate, although their total
I heat remains the same; as no time is required for the transfer
I of heat to surrounding bodies, the change may be made in-
Worcester's invention was a duplication of that shown as the
steam-fountain of De Caus. Two boilers were used, with sep-
arate means for tilling them, and branches by which they were
connected with the connnon ejection-pipe through which they
were alternately discharged. A given boiler, being temporarily
shut off from the discharge-pipe, was filled by any means, ^ by
I pouring water into it, probably, for the idea of filling it by the
pressure of the atmosi)liere as the steam condensed in the boiler
had not then been devised. A fii-e being made under the boiler,
and the branch discharge-pipe opened, the pressure of steam
forced the hot water out through the ejiction-pipe, which
reached nearly to the bottom of the boiler. It ceased to dis-
I charge as soon as the mouth of the ejection-pipe was uncovered,
the issuing of steam giving notification. The other boiler was
then treated in the same way, and so on alternately.
I This, as said before of De Cans', is inferior to Porte's, as the
boiler and water-chamber are identical, and the water umst all
be brought to a boil before any can be discharged. Porta's is
wasteful enough. All three missed the idea of using steam to
produce a partial vacuum, and raising the water by the press-
ure of the atmosphere. Each of the three expended actual heat
on the water by allowing the steam actual contact with the
water to be rtused. The time of engines was not yet. Worcester
raised 40 pounds of water (bight not stated, but not much) by
evaporating 1 pound The theoretical duty of 1 pound evap-
orated is to elevate 1,700 pounds about 33 feet (at sea-level).
There may be many original inventors of the same thing, but
there can only be ouc/irsi inventor. The same idea may occur
to several persons, without any knowledge on the part of either
of what the other has devised. In such a case equal credit may
be due to each for an original idea, but in a historic point of
view we naturally insist upon the claims of the prior inventor.
Viewed in this light, that of priority, the claims of the Mar-
quis of Worcester are reduced to a mere duplication, alternate
action in each of two reservoii-s.
The pressure of steam upon water, as we have had occasion to
observe, iu the niauner contrivid by BaptisUi Porta, ItiHU, Sol-
omou De Caus (?), 1020, and the Marquis of Worcester, l(i33, dif-
fers iu no essential res| cct from one of the devices exhibited io
the " Pneumatics '" of Hero, 150 b. c. This was substantially as
follows: A light being placed upon an altar heated a ves.'sel of
water, and the steam evolved pressed upon a liquid which was
conducted by pipes through two statues placed alongside of the
altar and holding flagons, from wlienee the wine or oil issued,
so that the figures were made to pour a libation upon the sac-
The Marquis worked this idea on a scale of usefulness, and
probably never saw Hero's collection of wonders.
Father Verbrest, in his " Astronomia Europica," 1680, speaks
of driving a car by an JEoHpile which ejected its steam upon
wings whose axis was geared to the wheels of tlie car.
;.ext is presented an inventor who, thmigh called a dreamer,
added more to the ingnie than all his pivdccessors. He had an
original mind, like Watt, aud was fertile in resources. Tliis was
Dr. Papin, of Hlois, in France (about 169ii).
Papin started with one ves.sel (like De Cans) ; then separated
them (like Portii); then he commenced to add items of ellicieucy
actually new. To obviate to
some extent the condensation
of steam by its contact with
the water to be raised, he inter-
posed a j^oat, upon whose upper
surface the steam pressed, while
its lower surface rested on the
water, as seen in the annexed
figure. The float being of wood,
a good non-conductor, much of
the heat would be saved, espe-
cially if the float fitted well. It
was the precursor of the piston ,
also invented by Dr. Papin : we
have, however," seen that Hero used it in water and air pumps
l,S.'Vi years before
Another f<nturf may also be noticed in the apparatus of
Papin. The water in contact with the float was to some ex-
tent unchanging, so that whatever warmth it acquired was
Papin'^s Water- EUcator.
not conunuaicated except in part to the water to be raised.
Anotkrr feaittre visible ia the apparatus is the safety -valve, of
which Papiu was the inventor.
Another feature vnW be detected by a description of the oper-
ation, namely, the charging of the water-chamber by atmos-
pheric pressure incident to the condensation of steam therein.
Now we begin to see sunhght in the investigation of the history
of the machine.
In Papin's engine (.Fig. 5656), the boiler was connected by a
pipe 6 with a cylinder c, in which is a float t/, resting on "the
surjace of the water. The supply-pipe e has a valve opening
downward, and the discharge- pipe / has a valve opening up-
ward. Steam from the boiler being admitted to the cylinder c,
the water is ejected therefrom, and p;isses by pipe/" to the tank
to be filled. CoQununication between the boiler and cylinder
being closed by the faucet or pipe 6, the steam in c condenses,
aod the pressure of the atmosphere forces water by pipe e to fill
up the vacancy ; the valve in pipe/closing by gravity. A rep-
etition of the process need not be detailed.
Anothfr feature is the air-chamber at the summit of discharge-
pipe /". The air therein, being condensed during the entrance
of the water, assists by ics elasticity in dischaiwiog the water
throug'.i a second ascending pipe in a continuous instead of an
Dr. Papiii is also the inventor of the atmospheric steam-en-
gin'', though his form is somewhat crude as he lef* it. A smooth
cylinder was fitted with a piston, which was raised by the vapor-
iz:itioa of a small body of water below it, and depressed by the
prvssure of the atmosphere when the steam condensed. Fire was
applitNl directly to the lower end of the cylinder, and the down-
ward stroke of the piston was the efective one. This was the
^iSr.-il true engine ^ince Hero.
With the exception -^f the Saverii- engine, yet to be noticed,
we no-v leive behind the steam-fountains, which were only
capable of being utilized for a driving power by setting them to
rai^e w Iter to turn a wheel. This was proposed by both Papia
anl .S;ivery,but, it is believel, was never put in practice. They
are yet numerous for raising water for boiler supply, for ordi-
nary pump duty, etc. Set? Vacicm Steam-pltip.
Papin, we see, has furnished us with a reciprocating pis-
ton-rol, and we shall see what Newcomen and Watt will do
with it. The latter studied hard to convert the motion thus
acquired into a rotary, anl applied the crank, â€” he did not in-
vent it. The crank had been use! on foot-lathes for2,000 years.
Hero's engine had the rotary motion all readv to hand.
Dr. Papin has introduced us to so many improvements that
it seems like going back, to consider the original Sivery engine ;
but wiiilc we vvere enumerating the Doctor's service.^, it .=eeined
well to complete the list, and it must be recollected that he and
Savery were contemporary. It is even clainieil that the idea of
lifting water into a chamber by atmospheric pressure agriinst
a partial vacuum is Savery's invention. It appears to be other-
wise, but was adopted by the latter in his patent of 16i:tS, and
in his joint patent with Newcomen, of whom we shall have to
speak after Savery's first apparatus is described,
Savery's apparatus (Fig. -SJoT) is illustrated in the 21st vol-
ume of " Philasophical Transactions,'' a. d. 1700, the patent
_ being granted bv the astute
Wniliim III. in' 1^3. It is
stated to be " for raising
water by the help of fire.''
The illustnition shows a
double apparatus, the respec-
tive portions of which are used
alternately The steam from
the boiler a, being admitted
into chamber b, expels the air i
therefrom. The cock e being i
then turned, so as to isolate
the chamber b from the boiler, ,
the condensation of the steam i
makes a partial vacuum, into
which the water from the well
is driven up, lifting the valve
V. Steam from the boiler is
then admitted into chamber b,
expelling the water below and
causing it to pass valve v' and
to rise in the stand-pipe, which
The water iH_;>crj on-pi pe rf is
discharges into a tank above.
then opened, to condense the steam, the cock c being turned for
this purpose, simultaneously cla-ing the steam supply and ad-
mitting water, which issues in a spray from the rose at the end
of the pipe d,
Savery's engine was employed with good result^ in the drain-
age of mines in Cornwall and Devonshire, though at an expense
for fuel that we should consider terribly wasteful. His was per-
haps the first valuable working machine.
Hero, Leonardo da Tinci, and Papin excepted, all the pre-
ceding would read just as well as a prelude to the history of
" devices for raiding water" ; and. with the exceptions noted,
all do^vn to and including Savery, made the raising of water
their object and end. Their intention is indicated plainly in
the names they bestowed on their devices ; Worcester's " water-
commanding engine"; Saver>'s "engine for raising water
and occasioning motion to all sorts of mill-work by the impel-
ling force of fire." The mill-work, as we have stated, was to be
driven by water raised by the engine, and not directly by the
engine. This was not yet : but Savery joined with others, and
together, with what they borrowed from Papin, they made an
engine capable of giving motion directly to machinery.
A controversy has arisen in reg-ard to the respective claims of
the Marquis of Worcester and Savery, and it has been much
embittered by the ungenerous remarks of Dr. Desaguliers, in his
â€¢â– Experimental Philosophy "' (.17S4).
While the respective engines agreed in the feature that the
direct pressure of steam on the surface of water in a chamber
forced the water thence and up a stand-pipe to an elevated
tank, there are yet tft'o special points to be noted in the Savery
apparatus which distinguish it from Worcester's
Savery separates the heating-chamber from the water-cham-
ber. Worcester does not. Savery may have derived the idea
from Porta or Papin. but that does not concern the matter as
between him and Worcester.
Savery charges his water-chambers from a lower level by at-
mospheric pressure induced by a partial vacuum produced in
the chambers by the condensation of steam therein. Worcester
does not. Savery may have derived this from Papin, but that
is nothing to Worcester.
Saver>" stands between Worcester and Newcomen thus: â€”
Worcester raises water by direct pressure of steam only.
Savery raises water by direct pressure of steam, alternating
with atmospheric pressure.
Newcomen raises water by atmospheric pressure alone ; steam
being only used to make a vacuum.
By way of bringing another disturbing element into the in-
quisition, Solomon De Cans, already referred to. has been cited,
and the erudite Arago had declared him the author of the mod-
em steam-engine : but the same argument that would exalt the
Frenchman De Caus over the English Marquis of Worcester
would exalt the Italian Baptista Porta over the Frenchman.
The same argument that Desaguliers uses to exalt Worcester
over Savery would place the Italian Porta over the English-
men. But Desaguliers misses (he point. Papin and Savery
had carried the work beyond all previous attainments, and then
came Newcomen, who, as Touilin^on remarks, brought the
" steam-engine to the general form and properties it has retained
to this day, insomuch that there is not a single change intro-
duced by him which has not been permanent, nora single part
or feature of his engine but continues essential in all future en-
gines, merely improved in detail, but identical in name and prin-
ciple." This is presumed to refer to engines of its class.
Newcomen's engine (Fig. 5058), which followed Savery's, was
introduced in 1705, and perfected the principle which was in-
itiated by Papin. It differed from Savery's in several respects.
One difference has been noted. It is this : â€”
Savery raised water partly by the pressure of the atmosphere,
and partly by the pressure of steam, the actions being alternate.
Newcomen raised water by the pressureof the atmosphere, steam
being employed alternately to create a vacuum. Another: â€”
Saverj- allowed the direct pressure of steam on the surface of
the water. Newcomen had the pressure of the steam and air
alternately on the respective sides of the piston, that of the wa-
ter on a pump-piston which was attached to the other end of the
walhing-b'am from that to which the steam-piston rod or chain
is attached. The walking-beam \s Newcomen's.
Newcomen separated the boiler from the cyhnder ; Papin, we
have seen, ^Â«ifra/fÂ»/ and conflcnsed his steam in the cylinder
beneath the piston, which consumed much time in the alter-
nate heating and cooling. The boiler had already been sepa-
rated from the cylinder, in Papin's apparatus, and also from the
resen'oir in Savery's apparatus, so that it is singular that Papin
should have missed ihl^ point, which gave value to the idea of
the atmospheric engine.
lu Newcomen's engine, the piston depended from one end of
the walkiug-beam a, and the pump-rod from the other end.
The puinp-rod was heavy enough to sink it in the shaft and raise
the Hteam-pistOD, or else a weij^ht w was added. The periphery
of the pi3ton was covered witli leather, and kept air-tight by
water above it from a tank (. The cylinder c was plaeed above the
boiler b, and steam was admitted to it through the cock/:', which
was tended by hand, the strokes being slow. At starting, the
air from the cylinder, displaced by the steam, passed down the
pipe which proceed.^ from the bottom of the cylinder, and issued
at the valves, which opened upwardly. This is thv bio w-calce or
snifting-valve of the engine. The cock c' , being then opened,
shuts off the steam, and the cock/, being opened, allows injection
water to enter the cylinder from the tunk t. The water, being
condensed into i ,7f,f,of its bulk, formed a nearly perfect vacuum,
and the atmospheric pressure of 14 pounds to the square inch
bearing upou the piston depressed the latter, and consequently
raised the pump-rod, the weight w (if any there be), and the
lo:id of Wiiter. The downward stroke only of the piston was
used effectively. The pump-rod/was to lift water to supply the
tank t. The water of injection and condensation passed by the
pipe leading from the bottom of the cylinder to the hot-well,
issuing at the valve 5, and was used to feed the boiler.
It will be observed that the piston and pump-rod are merely
suspended by chains ; the action of eiieh is to pull, â€” not push,
â€” and a stiff connection was not necessary.
At first Newcomen adopted Savery's plan of external conden-
sation, but a faulty cylinder having admitted water internally,
the condensation w;is more rapid, with increiu'ed effect ffom the
engine. Since that accidental discovery, internal injection has
been generally adopted-
The beam, pump, internal condensation, and self-action were
important additions to the previous steam-engines, earning for
Newcomen and Oiiwley a well-de.served fame.
The taps which answered as valves in the Newcomen engine
require! the most unremitting attention of the person in charge,
to introduce steam into the cylinder to lift the piston, or the
ehower of cold water which was to condense the steam and cause
the depression of the piston by the atmospheric pressure above
it. A Cornish boy, named Potter, in order to have some time
for play, conceived and put in execution the idea of connecting
the beam to tlie handle of the taps, so as to work them auto-
matically. Hence the valve motion. For the first time, the
engine worked by itself.
With the exception of Smeatou's improvements in details, the
Newcomen engine remained in the state to which its inventor
had brought it, from 1710 to ITtii, about which time Watt ap-