Monday, May 15, 2017

Goodwood 2013, the London Steam Carriage, an early steam-powered road vehicle constructed in 1803 and the world's first self-propelled passenger-carrying vehicle

The American inventor Oliver Evans developed the concept for a high pressure steam engine in 1794.
Evans steam engine was a high pressure engine, which was a vast improvement in power over Watts low pressure engines. Evans sent his plans to England for scientific review, and many feel that their teachings were read and understood by Englishman Richard Trevilthick.

Trevithick was an engineer at a mine in 1797 when he, with the help of Edward Bull pioneered the use of a High Pressure Steam Engine, but ran afoul of Matthew Boulton and James Watt, who were working on a similar device and held a number of Patents.

In 1801, after James Watt's earlier patent on "a carriage propelled by a steam engine" had expired,  Trevithick constructed an experimental steam-driven vehicle (Puffing Devil) at Camborne, Cornwall. It was equipped with a firebox enclosed within the boiler, with one vertical cylinder, the motion of the single piston being transmitted directly to the driving wheels by means of connecting rods.

Trevithick ran this for several hundred yards up a hill with several people hanging on to it. Unfortunately, while the driver and passengers were in a pub celebrating the event, it set fire to a shed in which it had been left unattended, and was destroyed.

Following the completion of it's rebuild, the London Steam Carriage was driven about 10 miles through the streets of London to Paddington and back with passengers, at a speed up to 9 miles per hour, the streets having been closed to other traffic.

Trevithick and his colleague crashed the carriage into some house railings and, as a result of this, plus lack of interest in the carriage by potential purchasers, and its demonstrations having exhausted the inventors' financial resources, it was eventually scrapped, the engine being used in a mill which made hoops for barrels.

Frank Brannon, suitably attired in period costume, has been campaigning the re-created 1803 Trevithick Steam Carriage around Europe.'

No comments:

Post a Comment