Langreiter’s steam engine – Using steam to move the world
For centuries the only ways of driving machines were water, wind and muscle power. The invention of the steam engine had the potential to bring about a revolution: this machine uses steam produced by heating water to move crankshafts by means of a system of cylinders and valves. The first such usable machine was constructed by Thomas Newcomen in 1712. The steam engine can be seen as a key component of the Industrial Revolution; at first it was used in the mining and textile industries, later in ships and locomotives.