|A Stanley Steamer: the steam-powered car|
It All Starts, Like So Many Things, In Ancient Greece:
Hero of Alexandria (also known as Heron, rather like Diddy is also P. Diddy or Puff Daddy) started it all with his design of a steam-powered device called a aeollipile, or Hero-engine. It was never given a practical application (it’s been said he intended the device as a toy) and yet the seed was planted…
|The cauldron on the bottom gets hot, the steam rises, and the ball dances — a simple toy|
Wait about 2,000 years and then…
1679: the pressure cooker
1698: the first crude steam engine
1769: James Watt improves the steam engine. The result? Just a little thing we like to call the Industrial Revolution.
|Watt’s engine, which brought us affordable mass-produced goods and sweatshops alike|
The High-Pressure Steam Engine
Richard Trevithick created the next innovation, the high-powered steam engine, sometime in the early 1800s (that pre-Victorian time called the Regency). Now steam engines could be both more powerful and smaller.
|I am including this picture of a boiler simply because it seems to be wearing goggles!!!|
The Steam-Powered Bicycle;
And finally something a bit more, well, modern day, especially if you’ve been following the news from Japan:
Yes — steam power plays a role in today’s nuclear power plants. Nuclear energy only produces HEAT. Only when the heat produces STEAM is useful energy generated. Without Hero/Heron and James Watt and all the rest, Homer Simpson wouldn’t have a job. And isn’t that a chilling thought?