Medieval and Renaissance Europe possessed only one effective heat engine, the combustion engine in the form of the cannon (Figure 6.1) .
The credit for making pressure exerted by the atmosphere entirely explicit belongs to Otto von Guericke (reprint 1963), who in 1672 published the famous book in which he described his air pump and the experiments that he made with it from the mid 1650s onwards. His famous demonstration is illustrated in Figure 6.2. Once it was understood that atmosphere exerts pressure, it was a matter of creating a vacuum and allowing the atmospheric pressure to move the piston in a cylinder.
KeywordsCoal Mine Check Valve Safety Valve Pressure Cooker Steam Engine
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