This steam engine was designed by Thomas Newcomen in 1712. It was the first machine to effectively use steam to obtain mechanical movement. It is also called an atmospheric machine, because it works at atmospheric pressure. By letting steam from the boiler into the cylinder, the piston in the cylinder is pushed upwards. Then cold water is led into the cylinder, thus causing the steam to condensate. The pressure below the piston falls away and the piston will move down under the influence of the atmospheric pressure. After which the process is repeated. Newcomen's machine was mainly used to pump water out of mines. The piston in the cylinder was therefore connected by way of a lever to the piston of a water pump. When the piston in the cylinder went upwards, it pulled the lever upwards and pushed the piston of the water pump downwards. And vice versa. For the operation of Newcomen's machine, two people were always needed: a stoker and someone who operated the valves for steam and water. Eventually, Newcomen's model was vastly improved by James Watt.
Working model of atmospheric steam engine after Thomas Newcomen (1705)
Londen Edward Nairne