From Hmolpedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In acronyms, EP (LH:#) is short for “engine pioneer”; shortcut key: (EP:#)


The following table shows the engine pioneers, ordered chronologically:

# Person Date Engine Summary
Archimedes 75.png Archimedes
(2242-2167 BE)
(287-212 BCM)
c.235BC Architronito
(steam cannon)
Invented, according to da Vinci (c.1500), a so-called architronito, or steam-powered cannon that throws 70lb iron balls, via the action of “great noise and fury”, at the enemy, by the action of heat derived from burning coals; diagrams of which are found in da Vinci’s notebooks.
No image 2.png Ctesibius
(2240-2177 BE)
(c.285-222 BCM)
c.230BC Aeolipile
Hero 75.png Hero
(1945-1885 BE)
(c.10-70 ACM)
c.50AD Aeolipile
Da Vinci 75.png Leonardo Vinci
(503-436 BE)
(1452-1519 ACM)
1508 Vinci engine
Gunpowder engine
Steam cannon
Steam turbine
Da Vinci, according to the arguments of Ladislao Reti (1969), was the first to: state that condensed steam makes a vacuum, before Gerolamo Cardano (1550) is blurrily-cited to have done so; first to make a gunpowder engine, before Christiaan Huygens (1673), Denis Papin (1674), and Jean Hautefeuille (1678); was the “unknown author” cited by Giovanni Branca (1629), in respect to his Hero-like steam turbine; and that he was the true inventor of the steam-powered cannon (Architronito), not Archimedes, per argument that Archimedes only invented an ordinary gunpowder cannon.
Cardano 75.png Gerolamo Cardano
(454-379 BE)
(1501-1576 ACM)
1550 In his On the Subtlety of Things, was said to have devised a "machine using the vacuum from condensed steam" and or stated that stated that the "condensation of steam could make a vacuum".
Lazarus Ercker
Giovanni Porta
c.1601 Porta engine

(improved Hero fountain)

In his Spiritali, following or amid a French translation of Hero’s steam machine work, reproduced Hero's aeolipile and his solar boiler device, after which, he added an illustrated modified variant of his own, similar to a combination of the above two devices; as shown below, wherein, a fire is put under flask a, filled with water, which makes steam, that enters closed container b, filled with cold water, which forces the water to shoot out of tube c, into the external air.
Drebbel 75.png Cornelis Drebbel
(383-321 BE)
(1572-1634 ACM)
Caus 75.png Salomon Caus
(379-329 BE)
(1576-1626 ACM)
1615 Caus engine
Giovanni Branca
1629 Steam turbine

(modified aeolipile)

David Ramsay


1630 Ramsay engine

(aka fire engine)

Under the idea influence of de Caus, applied for a patent for a device “To Raise Water from Lowe Pitts by Fire”; supposedly, however, there is no information concerning what he had in mind or what he did with it.
Galileo 75.png Galileo
(319-313 BE)
(1564-1642 ACM)
1632 Galileo engine

(vacuum measuring device)

Guericke 75.png Otto Guericke
(353-269 BE)
(1602-1686 ACM)
1647 Guericke engine

(aka vacuum pump); type: vacuum engine

John Wilkins


1648 His Mathematical Magic (1648) presented a chapter on the history of heat engines of various sorts, e.g. aeolipile, Giovanni Branca’s device (1629), and Cardano's smoke jack, and Cornelis Drebbel’s sun-powered clavichord (1609).
Edward Somerset


1654 Worcester engine

(Thurston, 1878)

(aka Somerset engine)

Penned his Century of Inventions (1654), not published till 1663, which gave a summary of the Hero-like devices built in the last century, including one made by him, that raised water up the side of his castle by fire.
Hooke 75.png Robert Hooke
(320-252 BE)
(1635-1703 ACM) | #1
1658 Pneumatical engine

(aka machine Boyleana)

An improved re-construction of the Guericke engine, built per order of Robert Boyle.
Samuel Morland

(1625-1695) | #1

1661 Was granted a ‘monopoly’, according to a warrant of Charles II, for an engine for raising water out of mines by means of ‘air and powder conjointly’.”
Ferdinand Verbiest


1670 Verbiest auto-mobile
Huygens 75.png Christiaan Huygens
(326-260 BE)
(1629-1695 ACM)
1673 Huygens engine

Type: Gunpowder engine; Piston and cylinder

Hooke 75.png Robert Hooke
(320-252 BE)
(1635-1703 ACM) | #2
1675 Hooke engine

Type: theoretical

Papin 75.png Denis Papin
(308-243 BE)
(1647-1712 ACM) | #1
1674 A few years subsequent to Boyle's discoveries [1662], Papin was installed in the laboratory at the Parts Academy of Sciences, and under the directions of Christiaan Huygens, was employed in experiments with the pneumatic engine, after the model of Boyle and Hooke’s, and the examination of the force of gunpowder, and also of the force of water rarefied by fire. An account of these experiments was published in 1674, and in the following year Papin left Paris, and proceeded to London.[1]
Jean Hautefeuille


1678 Hautefeuille engine

Type: gunpowder engine

Papin 75.png Denis Papin
(308-243 BE)
(1647-1712 ACM) | #2
1679 Papin digester Invented what he called a "digester or engine for softning bones", aka "bone digester", or Papin's digester as it later came to be called
Samuel Morland

(1625-1695) | #2

1683 Submitted a project to Louis XIV for raising water by means of steam, accompanying it with ingenious calculations and tables.
Papin 75.png Denis Papin
(308-243 BE)
(1647-1712 ACM) | #3
1688 Papin engine (gunpowder)
Papin 75.png Denis Papin
(308-243 BE)
(1647-1712 ACM) | #3
1690 Papin engine
Type: Theoretical;
Piston and cylinder
Thomas Savery


1698 Savery engine

(aka Miner’s friend)

Thomas Newcomen


1705 Newcomen engine

(improved Savery engine)

Henry Beighton


1717 In two entries of the Royal Society (1717), he made an improved Newcomen engine (Ѻ); sometime thereafter he began to associate with John Desaguliers. (Ѻ)
John Desaguliers


Watt 75.png James Watt
(219-136 BE)
(1736-1819 ACM)
1765 Watt engine Made a number of inventions and design improvements to the functionality of the steam engine, including: separate condenser (1765), the fly-ball governor (1788), and the definition of "pony power" (or horse power).
Joshua Rigley


John Smeaton


1769 Smeaton engine

(improved Newcomen engine)

Nicolas Cugnot


1769 Cugnot auto-mobile
James Pickard


1780 Pickard engine
Jonathan Hornblower


1781 Hornblower engine

(compound engine)

Arthur Woolf


1803 Designed an improved boiler for producing high pressure steam (1803) and invented a compound steam engine (1804) generally using the expired patent of Hornblower.
Richard Trevithick


1804 Trevithick locomotive
George Stephenson


Carnot 75.png Sadi Carnot
(159-123 BE)
(1796-1832 ACM)
1824 Carnot engine

Type: Abstract

End matter



  1. (a) Galloway, Elijah. (1826). History of the Steam Engine: From its First Invention to the Present Time. Cowie.
    (b) Anon. (1881). “The History of the Steam Engine: Overview of Galloway’s The Steam Engine and its Inventors” (Ѻ), English Mechanics and the World of Science, 32:507-08, Feb 4.

External links

Theta Delta ics T2.jpg