Friday, January 20, 2012

2011-2012 Challenges. Number 16

Sorry for the delay. This week´s questions are related to some of the inventions which contributed to the First Industrial Revolution. 

James Watt´s first steam engine (1776)


James Watt is considered to be the inventor of the steam engine. In fact, he improved some pre-existing engines, such as Thomas Savery´s water pump or Thomas Newcomen´s atmospheric engine. In 1606, at the beginning of  the 17th century a Navarrese military man, musician and cosmographer patented the first machine to use steam power. He also invented a diving suit, which was tested in the Pisuerga River. Who was this Hispanic inventor?


James Watt drew also inspiration from Denis Papin´s inventions. What was the most important contribution of this French inventor?


The Spinning Jenny was one of the most important inventions that contributed to the mechanization of textile industry. Who invented it? Why was this machine called Jenny?

Spinning Jenny

When and where did the factory system appear?


What were the Rainhill Trials? What was the realtion of this event with the history of transport?


Javier Alberca said...

Question 1:
He was Jerónimo de Ayanz y Beaumont.

Question 2:
He invented the forerunner of the steam engine, the pressure cooker and the steam digester.

Question 3:
The Spinning Jenny was invented by James Hargreaves in 1765. Its name “Jenny” comes from Hargreaves’s daughter.

Question 4:
The one who invented the factory system was John Lombe, he operated with this system in a factory at Derby in a water-powered silk mill.

Question 5:
It was a very important competition in Rainhill that consisted in compete with locomotives. It was created to decide what steam engine would pull the trains for all the people.

Get well soon Paqui! See you!

Paqui Pérez Fons said...

Hello Javi,

Well done! The only correction is about the name of the Spinning Jenny. The legend that says that its name comes from James Hargreaves daughter´s name may be wrong, because he didn´t have any daughter called Jenny (neither his wife was called Jenny). The most likely explanation is that "Jenny" is an abbreviation of "engine".

The Rainhill Trials were a competition designed to decide what locomotive would be used to connect the cities of Liverpool and Manchester, the first passenger line. They took place in October 1829 in Rainhill (Lancashire). Ten locomotives participated. The only locomotive to complete the test was the Rocket, designed by George Stephenson, the inventor of the locomotive. Stephenson won the prize of the trials: 500 pounds. The Rocket reached an average speed of 19 km/h. The top speed the Rocket reached was 48 km/h. Stephenson won the contractto produce the locomotives for the Liverpool- Manchester line.