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Compound engine, 1762.

Compound engine, 1762.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 24cm x 32cm


George Adams, instrument maker to the king, described this instrument as 'one of the simplest and most elegant compound engines I have ever seen'. It was he who made it. It combines three simple machines: two wheels and axles and a screw. The load was suspended from the axle at the base and hung through the centre of the frame. It was lifted by a 'power' on the large spoked wheel. In theory a weight 6000 times that of the applied force or 'power' could be raised but friction greatly reduced this figure in reality.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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