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By Ian McNeil

* 22 sections disguise the whole box of the heritage of know-how and every part summarises the improvement of its topic from the earliest occasions to the current day* Written with no pointless jargon* 2 vast indexes of Names and issues* Usefully illustrated with a hundred and fifty black & white photos and line drawings to provide an explanation for key advances`Contain[s] an enormous quantity of trustworthy info over a really large box. it's definitely a piece of which I shall myself make common use ... it merits to discover a spot ... in each reference library.' - occasions larger schooling Supplement`The insurance is great ... a Most worthy single-volume resource which for its comprehensiveness and simplicity of reference will earn its position in either expert and normal reference collections.' - Reference Reviews`Informative and complete, amazing in its assurance ... covers each element of know-how from the Stone Age to the gap Age ... will absolutely aid readers to get a grip on and suppose of a major diversity of matters ... a useful and functional addition to most department bookshelves or libraries.' - New Civil Engineer`The authors represented during this publication are to be congratulated for his or her readable and trustworthy surveys of the prior and current prestige of the main parts the place mankind has harnessed technological know-how for the construction of beneficial items and processes.' - selection

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Others took up the theme of producing a vacuum by the condensation of steam. In 1659 the Marquis of Worcester described experiments with boiling water in a gun barrel, the steam forcing the water out of one or more receivers connected to it. It was recorded that Sir Samuel Morland, ‘Magister Mechanicorum’ to King Charles II, had ‘recently shown the King a new invention… for raising any quantity of water to any height by the help of fire alone’. Denis Papin, a Huguenot refugee from France, worked for Robert Boyle and later, in the early 1690s, constructed a small atmospheric steam engine.

It was left to Thomas Newcomen, re-introducing the cylinder and piston but now of 21 inches diameter, to build the first practical steam pumping engine near Dudley Castle in Staffordshire (see Figure 6). It made twelve strokes a minute lifting at each stroke 10 gallons of water 51 yards. Newcomen died in 1729, but engines of this type continued to be made until the early years of the nineteenth century. At least 1047 are recorded as having been built including those in France, Hungary, Sweden, Spain, Belgium and Germany.

It is supposed, from the complexity of this mechanism, of which no less than thirty-one gear wheels survive, that this was far from the first example to be made and that, by that date, there was an established tradition of making mathematical gearing. The teeth on such an early example of gears were filed with a straight tooth profile and a root angle of approximately 90 degrees. Wooden power transmission gears for mills date at least as far back as Roman times, a comprehensive range of carpenter’s tools being available such as lathe, plane, bow drill, saw, chisel, awl, gimlet and rasp.

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