Steam Power Quotes (6 quotes)
About the year 1772, being then an apprentice to a wheel-wright, or wagon maker, I laboured to discover some means of propelling land carriages without animal power. one of my brothers [told me of] blacksmiths boys, who, for amusement, had stopped up the touch hole of a gun barrel, then put in about a gill of water, and rammed down a tight wad; after which they put the breech in the smiths fire, when it discharged itself with as loud a crack as if it had been loaded with powder. It immediately occurred to me, that here was the power to propel any wagon, if I could only apply it.
I do verily believe that the time will come when carriages propelled by steam will be in general use, as well for the transportation of passengers as goods, traveling at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, or 300 miles per day.
The pre-Darwinian age had come to be regarded as a Dark Age in which men still believed that the book of Genesis was a standard scientific treatise, and that the only additions to it were Galileo's demonstration of Leonardo da Vincis simple remark that the earth is a moon of the sun, Newtons theory of gravitation, Sir Humphry Davy's invention of the safety-lamp, the discovery of electricity, the application of steam to industrial purposes, and the penny post.
To produce any given motion, to spin a certain weight of cotton, or weave any quantity of linen, there is required steam; to produce the steam, fuel; and thus the price of fuel regulates effectively the cost of mechanical power. Abundance and cheapness of fuel are hence main ingredients in industrial success. It is for this reason that in England the active manufacturing districts mark, almost with geological accuracy, the limits of the coal fields.
Wherever the steam mill resounds with the hum of Industry, whether grinding flour on the Schuylkill, or cutting logs in Oregon, there you find a monument to the memory of Oliver Evans.
Why may not the present generation, who have already good turnpikes, make the experiment of using steam carriages upon them? They will assuredly effect the movement of heavy burthens; with a slow motion of two and a half miles an hour, and as their progress need not be interrupted, they may travel fifty or sixty miles in the 24 hours.