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How Did They do That?

The invention that powered the Industrial Revolution

STEAM ENGINES

The steam engine may have its roots in antiquity, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that the engine’s potential was fully realised. It took a Scottish engineer named James Watt to develop the existing creations into an engine that would end humankind’s complete dependence on muscle power and the elements and propel the world into a mechanical age.

KNOWING THE BASICS

Steam was used to move a piston up and down, which could power pumps or more complicated machinery...

WATT’S THE BIG DEAL

Waiting for the steam to cool was slow, so James Watt added a condenser...

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

June 2015 issue of History Revealed