The Miners Friend - Or An Engine To Raise Water By Fire
Written by Thomas Savery in 1702
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Thomas Savery discusses the many uses for his new steam engine - think of the following as a 16th century advertisement for the first steam engine - written in 1702.
Then I (Thomas Savery) say, such an engine may be made large enough to do the work required in employing eight, ten, fifteen, or twenty horses to be constantly maintained and kept for doing such a work; it will be improper to stint or confine its uses and operation in reflect of water-mills.
It may be of great use for palaces, for the nobilities or gentlemens houses: For by a cistern on the top of a house, you may with a great deal of ease and little charge, throw what quantity of water you have occasion for to the top of any house; which water in its fall, makes you what forts of fountains you please and supply any room in the house. And it is of excellent use in cafe of fire, of which more hereafter.
Nothing can be more fit for serving cities, and towns with water, except a crank-work by the force of a river. In the composing such sort of engines, I think no person hath excelled the Mr. George Sorocold. But where they are forced to usehorses, or any other strength, I believe no ingenious person will deny this engine to have the preference in all respects, being of more universal use than any yet discovered or invented.
As for draining fens and marshes. I suppose I need say no more than this, that the force which will raise great quantities of water a height of above 80 foot, must necessarily deliver a much greater quantity at a lesser height. And that it is much cheaper, and every way easier, especially where coalsare water borne, to continue the discharge of any quantities of water by our engine, than it can be done by any horse engines what so ever.
I believe it may be made very useful to ships, but I dare not meddle with that matter; and leave it to the judgment of those who are the best judges of maritain affairs.
For draining of mines and coal pits, the use of the engine will sufficiently recommend it self, in raising water so easier and cheap; and I do not doubt,but that in a few year, it will be a means of making our mining trade, which is no small part of the wealth of this kingdom, double, if not triple to what it now is. And if such vast quantities of lead, tin, and coals are now yearly exported, under the difficulties of such an immense chargeand pains as the miners are now at to discharge their water, how much more may be hereafter exported, when the charge will be very muchlessened by the use of this engine, every way fitted for the use of mines? For the far greater part of our richest mines and coal-pits, are liable to two grand inconveniences, and thereby rendered useless; The eruption and excels of subterraneous waters, as not being worth the expense of draining them by the great charge of horses or hand labor. Or secondly, fatal damps, by which many are struck blind, lame, or dead in these subterraneous cavities,if the mine is wanting of a due circulation of air. Now both these incoveniencies arenaturally remedied by the work of this engine of raising water by the impellant force of fire.