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SAVINGS BY ENGINE.
111 could be applied with greater economy than the labour of animals.
Surprising as it seems, yet, with all this publicity and honourable candour, the admirable Savery, was nearly, in his career, experiencing the neglect and failure which had attended Lord Worcester's similar one, thirty-five years before. The general incredulity attached to schemes of projectors, not only excused the opposition and ignorance of those whose interest (in their own view) was opposed to its introduction, but deterred others from giving it a trial, whose property was rapidly deteriorating from the want of that assistance which Savery's engine was so well fitted to bestow. To the latter he said, “I leave it to your consideration, whether it be worth your while to make use of it or no. But let not the failures of others prejudice me, for I have spared neither time, nor pains, nor money, till I had absolutely conquered every difficulty. Its power is in a manner infinite and unlimited, and will draw you water five hundred or one thousand feet high, were any pit so deep, and that you could find us a way to procure strength enough to support such an immense weight as a pillar of water one thousand feet high would produce. I dare undertake, that this engine shall raise you as much water for eightpence, as will cost you a shilling to raise the like with your old engines, which is thirty-three pounds six shillings and eightpence saved out of every hundred pound; a brave estate gained in one year out of such great works, where three, six, or it may be eight thousand pounds per annum is expended for clearing their mines of water only, besides the repair of gins, engines, horses, &c."
Miner's Friend, p. 77.
ADDRESS TO WORKMEN, To the artisans engaged in the construction of the common machinery, and who dreaded, in the introduction of a new machine, the loss of that employment which, from time immemorial, had been derived from the erection and repair of the old, he urged, that still they would be more than amply employed by the opening of other channels for labour. “The cheaper,” he says to them, “tha water is drawn, the more the miner encouraged to adventure; the more the miner adventures, the more pits or shafts must be sunk; the more pits and shafts must be sunk, the more wood-work will be necessarily employed in timbering them. The windlasses, and other utensils used of wood, must be more, which, by increasing the carpenter's trade in general, will make them sufficient amends for the loss of a small branch of their business in gin making."*
Lest their fears should not be allayed by this mode of stating the matter; lest they might blindly shut their eyes to the fact, that the extension of machinery to purposes hitherto performed by human power, could only (after a season) have the tendency of raising the value of labour, in general, he soothed them by promises. “I shall never employ any other person, in making pipes, or any other carpenter's work that I shall have to do, but the person who was before employed in the work; for it is not my design, in the least, to prejudice the artificers, or, indeed, any other sort of people, by this invention; but, on the contrary, is intended for the benefit of mankind in general.".
The labour, expense, and fatigue of invention had been surmounted; but still the task of introducing his machine, and of getting a fair trial for * P. 6, ibid.
+ P.7, ibid,
its merits, was now found to demand an almost Herculean exertion and perseverance. The sins of former projectors were remembered to the disadvantage of Savery. Again he says, "Time out of mind there have been mountebanks and impostors in all faculties, who pretend to great things but do perform nothing effectually, and it would he hard if that should be drawn into consequence, that because some are knaves therefore none are honest.” And Savery assured the “gentlemen adventurers in the mines of England," that his machine was not like many that had preceded him. “I am not fond of lying under the scandal of a bare projector: I can easily give grains of allowance for your suspicions, because I know very well what miscarriages there have been by people ignorant of what they pretend to. These, I know, have been so frequent, so fair and so promising at first, but so short of performing what they pretended to, that your prudence and discretion will not now suffer you to believe any thing without a demonstration, your appetites to new inventions of this nature having been balked too often; yet, after all, I must beg you not to condemn me, before you have read what I have to say for myself, and let not the failure of others prejudice me, or be placed to my account. 'I have often lamented the want of understanding the true powers of nature, which misfortune hath, of late, put some on making such vast engines and machines, both troublesome and expensive, yet of no manner of use; inasmuch, as the old engines used many ages past far exceeded them; and, I fear, whoever, by the old causes of motion, pretends to improvements within this last century does betray his knowledge and judgment; for more than one hundred years since men and
horses would raise, by engines then made, as much water as they have ever since done, or, I believe, ever will, or, according to the law of nature, ever can do; and though my thoughts have been long employed about water-works, I should never have pretended to any invention of that kind, had I not happily found out this new, yet a much stronger and cheaper force, or cause of motion than any before made use of. But finding this, of rarefaction by fire, the consideration of the difficulties the miners and colliers labour under by frequent disorders, cumbersomeness, and, in general, of water-engines, encouraged me to invent engines to work by this new force; that though I was obliged to encounter the oddest, and almost insuperable difficulties, I spared neither time, nor pains, nor money, till I had absolutely conquered them.”*
One of his greatest difficulties arose from the want of skill in his workmen; but this he, in the end, succeeded in surmounting; and, in 1702, he writes, that “ he had met with great difficulties and expense to instruct handicraft artificers to form my engine according to my design ; but my workmen, after so much experience, are become such masters of the thing, that they oblige themselves to deliver what engines they make me exactly tight and fit for service, and, as such, I dare warrant them to any body. So I hope I may assure myself of due encouragement from the ingenious, who are ever studious to promote all inventions useful and beneficial to the public; for they must conclude, that an engine, which for some time has daily employed the best artificers to work on it, was not to be brought forth in one day; and to bring it to that perfection you now
* P. 2, ibid,
USES OF ENGINE.
find it, must have cost me and my friends not a little money to make workmen capable of their work, with that certainty and exactness they now
The first use to which this admirable mechanic suggested the employment of his machine, was to raise water into a reservoir to produce a rotary motion by its fall on a water-wheel; and he then gives some directions for a mode of estimating its power. “I have only to urge,” says he, “ that water in its fall from any determinate height has simply a force answerable, and equal to the force that raises it; so that an engine which will raise as much water as two horses working together at one time in such a work can do, and for which there must be constantly kept ten or twelve horses for doing the same; then, I say, such an engine will do the work of ten or twelve horses." He further proposes to raise water by it for the use of "palaces and gentlemen's houses;" “ for serving cities and towns with water;" for “ draining fens and marshes ;” and remarks, that it is much cheaper here than horse engines, "especially where the coals are water-borne.” He believes it may be useful to ships, probably for pumping; and, lastly, for the draining “of mines and coalpits; and for “the cure of damps by the air perpetually crowding into the ash-hole and fireplace, as it is natural for it to do, and wiih a most impetuous force discharged with the smoke at the top of the chimney, the contiguous air is successively following it, so that not only all steams or vapours whatsoever that may or can arise, must naturally force its way through the fire, and so be discharged at the top with the smoke, and the motion of the fire will occasion the fresh air to
# P. viii, ibid.