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1698 - The steam engine is invented (Thomas Savery, England)

"Thomas Savery was an English inventor credited with making important advancements and discoveries in the development of the steam engine. He was born in 1650 at Shilston and belonged to a well known family of Devonshire. He received a thorough education and was fond of mathematics, mechanics and philosophy. He spent a great deal of time performing experiments and engineering new types of equipment for use in his experiments. Savery chose the profession of military engineering and achieved considerable success, rising to the rank of captain...

...England was facing a severe shortage of timber. Most of the timber from forestry was being used for shipbuilding and firewood. Therefore, coal was replaced with firewood as often as possible. However, this meant digging deeper into coal mines which led to the possibility of water seeping into the mines. In 1698, Savery patented a steam engine known as the “Miner’s friend” after presenting the same to the “Royal Society of London”. This engine consisted of a vessel filled with water into which high pressure steam was introduced. By heating and cooling the water, this machine produced a vacuum that sucked in water from the mines below..."

Learn more about the life of flag male ancestor  Thomas SAVERY.