Steam pumps are a very important part of modern and historic industry, but do you know the history of this amazing piece of machinery? The history of the steam pump goes all the way back to 1698, when Thomas Savery patented the first successful steam pump. Avery described the pump as an “engine to raise water by fire.”
The first steam pump has two boilers and were connected by a stretch of pipe. The steam would travel through the pipe and fill the pump’s vessel. Water was then showered on the vessel from a reservoir, thus cooling it and condensing the steam.
This would create a vacuum, and the operator would open a valve to suck in water from below the pump. The operator would close the first valve and open a second one, through which the water would be expelled upwards by the power of steam pressure.
Savery’s pump depended on pressurized steam to push water upwards through the pipe. As Avery wrote, “My engine at 60, 70, or 80 feet raises a full bore of water with much ease.”
Avery’s invention revolutionized the industrial world, and was the foundation for the steam pump that we use over 300 years later. He proved that industries could harness the power of steam as a mechanism to power machinery and further industrial development.