Newcomen engine, 1752.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model. Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) designed an atmospheric or 'steam' engine in 1712. It was safer and more effective than the earlier Savery engine and was widely used to drain water out of mines. This is a model of one built at Griff colliery, near Nuneaton, Warwickshire, in 1720. Water was heated in the boiler and the resulting steam was let into the cylinder, pushing up the piston. The steam was then condensed, bringing down the piston. The piston rocked the beam which worked the pump. This model is asociated with Dr Stephen Demainbray (1710-1782), a science lecturer of the 18th century.