Celebrating 24 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.”
more quiz questions >>
Thumbnail of Jonathan Carter Hornblower (source)
Jonathan Carter Hornblower
(5 Jul 1753 - Mar 1815)

English mining engineer who invented the first compound steam engine. The term “compound” refers to the system of two cylinders, whereby exhaust steam from the first cylinder is fed to a second cylinder to provide additional power.

Compound Steam Engine Patent

U.K. Patent No. 1298 (1781)

Specification of the patent granted to Mr. Jonathan Hornblower, of Penryn, in the county of Cornwall, plumber and brasier; for his invention of a machine or engine for raising water, or other liquids, and for other purposes, by means of fire and steam.

Dated July 13, 1781. — term expired, 1795.
Compound Steam Engine - Jonathan Carter Hornblower - colorization ©
Compound Steam Engine by Jonathan Carter Hornblower
colorization © todayinsci (Terms of Use) (source)

Please respect the colorization artist’s wishes and do not copy this image for ONLINE use anywhere else.

Thank you.

For offline use, click Terms of Use tab on top menu.

To all to whom these presents shall come,

NOW KNOW YE, that, in compliance with the said proviso, and in pursuance of the said statute, I, the said Jonathan Hornblower, do hereby declare, that my said invention is described in manner and form following: that is to say, first, I use two vessels in which the steam is to act, and which, in other steam engines, are generally called cylinders. Secondly, I employ the steam, after it has acted in the first vessel, to operate a second time in the other, by permitting it to expand itself, which I do by connecting the vessels together, and forming proper channels and apertures, whereby the steam shall occasionally go in and out of the said vessels. Thirdly, I condense the steam, by causing it to pass in contact with metalline surfaces, while water is applied to the opposite side. Fourthly, to discharge the engine of the water used to condense the steam, I suspend a column of water in a tube or vessel constructed for that purpose on the principles of the barometer; the upper end having open communication with the steam vessels, and the lower end being immersed into a vessel of water. Fifthly, to discharge the air which enters the steam vessels with the condensing water, or otherwise, I introduce it into a separate vessel, whence it is protruded by the admission of steam. Sixthly, that the condensed vapour shall not remain in the steam vessel in which the steam is condensed, I collect it into another vessel, which has open communication with the steam vessels, and the water in the mine, reservoir, or river. Lastly, in cases where the atmosphere is to be employed to act on the piston, I use a piston so constructed as to admit steam round its periphery, and in contact with the sides of the steam vessel, thereby to prevent the external air from passing in between the piston and the sides of the steam vessel.

In witness whereof, &c..

Image, not in original text, from Robert Henry Thurston, A History of the Growth of the Steam-Engine (1897), 531. Text from: John Redman Coxe, Thomas Cooper, The Emporium of Arts and Sciences (1812), 171-172. (source)

See also:

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)

Thank you for sharing.
- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.