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Newcomen Engine

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Jason
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Newcomen Engine

Post by Jason on Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:29 pm

Just before Christmas I spent a few days in Edinburgh and went to the excellent National Museum of Scotland, have to say it's somewhere I always go when in the city but often usually stick to the early history sections.

This time I spent a good few hours there and saw just about everything. They have an example of a Newcomen engine on display, and they are always something I try and develop improved versions of. I was under the impression that Newcomen engines were supposed to be quite inefficient, even compared to the next generation of steam engines. When Watt started producing his own ones, rather than charge for them, he 'sold' them to mine owners on the basis that they would give him a percentage of the money they saved on coal compared to using Newcomen engines. What surprised me therefore was the example in the museum remained in use until 1901!

If you are ever in Edinburgh it is worth paying the museum a visit, just to see the engine if nothing else.

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