In the 17th century, England faced a terrible crisis as the ships were consuming large quantities of wood and as the result it was consuming large hectares of forest. In that ages the ships were necessary for trade and defence so coal was the suitable substitute for the firewood. However producing more coal means digging deeper into the coal mines which means that it was very likely to find water that was leaking into the mines, so it urge a need for new methods to extract water out of the mines.
There were many method to pump out of the water out from the mines however for that times it were not sustainable technique like, Jeronimo de Ayansz, Beaumont (1606), Thomas Savery(1698), and Thomas Newcomen(1712). However it was James Watt (1777), who improve the design when the Glasgow University in Scotland need repairs for the Newcomen Engines in which Watts found that time, steam and fuel were wasted by having both heating and cooling take place inside the piston cylinder.
The Old Bess is an early beam engine that was built by two engineers, Boulton and James Watt in 1777. It is the first known engine to work with an early cut-off, therefore, using the expansion of the steam for great efficiency (Crowley, 1982). As a result, the beam has played an important role in the development of more advanced steam engines. Remarkably, the Old Bess is also the oldest surviving Watt engine of all times and is also the third oldest surviving beam engine.
According to Crowley (1982), the Old Bess beam engine was a modification of Watt’s first engine called the Kinneil engine at the Soho Manufactory located in Birmingham. The Kinneil engine was initially a pump to be used in coal mines and was suitable for the factory’s operations. The manufactor...
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...ortages. The beam was initially for single-acting beam engines that pulled through wrought iron chains running over a curved arch-head at the end of the beam (Dickinson, 1927).
According to (Crowley, 1982) the beam is known for paving the way for more advanced steam engines. The artefact is now in the Science Museum and one of the Museum’s oldest exhibits. When it was first displayed, the engine was erected in an open-fronted representation of a brick-built engine structure. The Museum states that the engine has over 70 years working life.
In conclusion, the Old Bess beam engine is one of the oldest and most efficient artefacts created in the early days. The main reason of its existence was to pump water in place of power wheels. Today, the Old Bess beam engine are no longer used instead there are more advance engines which have been developed over the period.
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