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Progress of Steam Power

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Caldervale Report 27 Apr 2013 00:20

Just been looking at "You Tube" and the Genes Reunited blog on Steam.
How many are aware the first steam driven item was invented by a Roman? Yes a Roman, named Hero. His invention was purely recreational. A spherical shape with three L shaped jets protruding. Water in the sphere turned to steam with application of heat. This caused the sphere to rise and spin as the steam escaped via the three
outer jets. Purely a fun thing. Would not be quite correct to state, "It never took off".
While on the subject of Roman invention. How many realise the first railway type track was laid by them. The rail was laid on wooden plates. Hence the present day term "platelayer". Horse drawn wagons or cauldrons conveyed minerals down to
coastal staithes to load on ships berthed alongside the staithes. One horse, one wagon basis . Quite different to personal days on the railways. One iron horse to 40 or 60 wagons. Tare weight of one wagon could vary but around 10 to 12 tons.
Loaded weight around 35 tons. (Not tonnes which is metric weight) Metric weight is used today. The total tonnage conveyed depended upon two factors. Class of engine and the steepest gradient over the route. To overcome weight restrictions
bank engines were used on the steepest gradient or assistant engines were provided for the whole journey. Double headed in railway parlance. Bank engines
usually assisted at the rear. Caldervale
P. S. The profile is from photo taken at the top of "Sky Tower", Auckland. N.Z.


Bobtanian Report 27 Apr 2013 01:29

Actually although correct,Tonnes,

Tonne and tons are quite close in actual weight

1000 x 1Kg(2.2lbs = 2,200lbs)=1 tonne
2,240 lbs....20Cwt..= 1 ton
so if you bought a tonne of coal for the same price as a ton of coal.

you would be short changed!!
(another metrication fiddle!)



Caldervale Report 27 Apr 2013 12:43

Pleased I never ordered the household coal supply to be delivered in a B.R 60 tonne vehicle or L.M.S. 60 ton vehicle. Can here a distant voice uttering, "Don't put too much on the fire".


Sharron Report 27 Apr 2013 13:13

A voice from this direction is saying that it must be spring,the bucks are headbutting again!


BarneyKent Report 27 Apr 2013 13:59

Thomas Savery (c. 1650–1715) was an English inventor, born at Shilstone, near Modbury, Devon, England. He became a military engineer, rising to the rank of Captain by 1702, and spent his free time performing experiments in mechanics.

On 2 July 1698, he patented an early steam engine, "A new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion to all sorts of mill work by the impellent force of fire, which will be of great use and advantage for drayning mines, serveing townes with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have not the benefitt of water nor constant windes." He demonstrated it to the Royal Society on 14 June 1699.

So steam engines were working in this country in the Seventeenth century, which is before the Battle of Blenheim, before the Union of England and Scotland, before Handel came to England, before the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion ................


Caldervale Report 27 Apr 2013 16:06

Steam Raising & all that. First of all some correction. Heron or sometimes known as Hero was of Greek origin, not as I stated Roman, lived in the 1st century A.D.
His invention, the steam propelled sphere is known by the name "aeolipile" and was never put to any commercial use. For amusement only and was captive to its heat supply. I also stated 3 outer jets correct number is 2. and that the steam caused the aeolipile to rise. As a fixture it could not rise. The steam caused it to
Head butting bucks (rabbits or deer) need not fear aeolipiles springtime or any other time for that matter being a fixture , not mobile.
As for tons and tonnes it was necessary to calculate in both to ascertain the total train tonnage sometimes. The information was entered on the train journal.