The invention of the steam engine

Michael Mosley, Cassie Newland and Mark Miodownik explore the scientific achievements of Thomas Newcomen and James Watt. These two geniuses were the first to transfer heat energy into usable power with a steam engine.

Mark Miodownik shows a working model of a steam engine, originally made by the blacksmith Thomas Newcomen in 1712. These early steam engines produced a vacuum to generate power, and were commonly used for pumping water out of mines. In 1765, James Watt developed the engine to include a separate condenser, making it more powerful, portable and efficient.

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10 minutes

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