Farm Collector

Young People’s Page

Torque Power Live Steam Models Hyattstown, Box 144-D R. F. D.,
Ijamsville, Maryland 21754

Hi There Young Engineers:

I received a very nice letter from David Reed of Wilmington,
Delaware and his exhibit on page 16 of the July-August issue, the
upper right hand photo. David is shown with his 1
3/4 HP Hercules gas engine which is running a
Number 3 Wilson Brothers Grinder. David is 18 years old now and
owns 6 gas engines and one model steam engine.

Shortly before I started to write this article, I was paid a
visit by Mr. Paul Leatherman, Jr. and Mr. Ronald Smith both of
Myersville, Md. Both are avid young engineers and collectors.

And now to continue with the article on Watts and his steam
engine from the May-June issue. Many textbooks portray Mr. Watt as
having had an interest in steam as a form of power even in his
childhood but there is no proof of this. It is known that Watt was
employed in 1764 to recondition a Newcomer Pumping engine which led
to his interest in improving the steam engine. It was in 1765 that
Watt made improvements in the Newcomer Boiler and after four more
years of experiments he developed the double acting engine concept
much as we know it today. This included the 3 port slide valve
although, very crude in comparison to the valves found in our
engines. In changing to the double acting engine in which steam was
admitted to both sides of the piston alternately, Watt had to
develop a separate vessel in which to condense the steam. This was
a great improvement over the single acting engine which condensed
their steam in the cylinder.

Watt received a patent for his improvements in 1769. It is
interesting to note that Watt was greatly opposed to increasing the
operating pressure, probably, because of the lack of suitable
materials to construct pressure vessels. I have not been able to
find out first when the change was made from atmospheric engines to
steam pressure engines. Watt is accredited with, not only inventing
improvements on the engine design, but also with inventing the
water pressure gauges and also the governor.

In 1774 Watt formed a partnership with a manufacturer in
Birmingham, England which eventually grew into one of the
world’s largest engine works. Due to Watts inventive genius,
the steam engine grew from a crude water pumping engine to a
practical source of power.

Well, this is all for right now.

  • Published on Sep 1, 1972
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