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Model of Newcomen's Atmospheric Steam Engine
Model of Newcomen's Atmospheric Steam Engine
Resource Typeimage
TitleModel of Newcomen's Atmospheric Steam Engine
Coverage / Year1927 to 1937
DescriptionThis is a model of Newcomen's Atmospheric Steam Engine. Newcomen's steam engine consisted of a metal boiler with a cylinder mounted above. Inside the cylinder is a piston, sealed as closely as possible to the wall with a leather flap. The piston is attached to one end of a large wooden beam. The other end of the beam is attached to the water pump.
InterpretationIn 1705 Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729), a smith of Dartmouth, England, took out a patent on his Atmospheric Steam Engine. This steam engine was practically the only source of steam power for seventy years. The engine's steam from the boiler entered the cylinder while the weight of the pump-rod pulled the piston to the top of the cylinder. By condensing the steam and creating a vacuum, air pressure forced down the piston and activated the pump. Condensed water flowed into a second tank. Valves controlled the various inlet and outlet stages. Newcomen alone can be credited with these innovations. The largest Newcomen engines produced only seventy-six horsepower from enormous cylinders six feet in diameter by nine and a half feet stroke, the piston making nine strokes per minute. Newcomen engines were primarily used to drain English coal mines. It is believed that only one Newcomen steam engine was brought to the United States. The Newcomen Steam Engine model in the Museum of Science and Industry collection was produced by G. Cussons Limited.
Lesson Plans / ThemesHow we learn about communities; American communities in history;
Learning Standards16 History; 10-12 Science; 13 Science, Technology and Society;
Author or CreatorNewcomen, Thomas, 1663-1729
SourceAbbot, David Ed. Engineers and Inventors, The Biographical Dictionary of Scientists. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1986; Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Accession File #32.234
Subject / KeywordsSteam engines; Industrial Revolution; Coal mines; Steam power; Inventions; Newcomen, Thomas, 1663-1729; Innovation; Power production; Patents;
Collection PublisherMuseum of Science and Industry, Chicago;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See http://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/tdc for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statementhttp://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/tdc/conditions.htm
Resource Identifier32.234
CONTENTdm file name64051181982002_NEWCOMNE.jpg
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