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The History of Steam Navigation

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
pubblicato da Library of Alexandria

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There is not a more fascinating page in history than that which tells of the growth of the Mercantile Steam Navies of the World. It is a record of the triumphs of Science and Art in Marine Architecture; of bold enterprisesnot always carried to a successful financial issue; of deeds of "derring do" as romantic as the older stories of the Vikings. It is a page brightened by stories of true heroism, where men have bravely faced death, not in the lust of battle, but in calm devotion to duty, or in unflinching determination to save the lives of those weaker than themselves. It is not possible, nor would it answer any useful purpose, to discuss fully the various claims which have been put forward for the honour of having invented the first Marine Steam Engine. It will be sufficient to refer briefly to the inventors, or alleged inventors, prior to the year 1807. In the Appendix to SeƱor Navarette's "History of the Four Voyages of Columbus," are copies of certain documents which the historian vouches to be authentic extracts from the series of Spanish Records preserved at Simancas. These documents narrate "that in the month of May or June, 1543, Blasco de Garay, a naval captain in the service of the Emperor Charles V., conducted at Barcelona, a series of experiments upon the applicability to ships of a certain propulsive force, which he alleges he had himself discovered." De Garay describes the mechanism he employed as consisting of two wheels, one attached to either extremity of a movable axis which traversed the vessel's waist, and was connected with a large caldron of boiling water. The experiments, it is alleged, were conducted in the presence of several persons of high birth, deputed by the Emperor to witness them, and amongst whom were many naval commanders. It is further alleged that De Garay succeeded in taking to sea a vessel of two hundred tons burthen, without the aid of sail or oar, and that her speed was about one league per hour. Rear-Admiral Geo. Preble, U.S.N., author of a "History of Steam Navigation," gives the names of several persons who have searched the documents referred to, none of whom have been able to trace any mention of steam; he, therefore, concludes that the account of De Garay's invention is a Spanish legend. Papin, who was driven from France by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and was elected F.R.S. in 1681, describes, in 1690, a steam cylinder in which a piston descends by atmospheric pressure, and, as one of its uses, he mentions the propulsion of ships by paddle wheels. Towards the close of the 17th century, or the beginning of the 18th, Papin made the acquaintance of Thomas Savory, one of the most ingenious men of his times, and of Thomas Newcomen, a working blacksmith, of Devon. Savory designed a marine engine, which was greatly improved by Newcomen in 1705, and was used by Papin to propel a steamboat on the Fulda.

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Generi Romanzi e Letterature » Romanzi contemporanei , Storia e Biografie » Storia: opere generali » Storia: specifici argomenti , Salute Benessere Self Help » Mente, corpo, spirito

Editore Library Of Alexandria

Formato Ebook con Adobe DRM

Pubblicato 14/02/2023

Lingua Inglese

EAN-13 9781465679062

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