Newcomen engine model, maker unknwon, before 1753. Once belonged to Stephen Demainbray.
Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) designed an atmospheric or steam engine in 1712. It was safer and more effective than the earlier Savery engine and was widely used to drain water out of mines. This is a model of one built at Griff colliery, near Nuneaton, Warwickshire, in 1720. Known at the time as a 'fire engine', it was described by J. T. Desaguliers, a natural philosophy lecturer, in 1744. Water was heated in the boiler and the resulting steam was let into the cylinder, pushing up the piston. The steam was then condensed, bringing down the piston. The piston rocked the beam which worked the pump. This model once belonged to Stephen Demainbray and was used by him in his lectures on natural philosophy. Demainbray worked as superintendent at the King's observatory at Kew from 1768 and his collection of instruments and apparatus was absorbed into the King's own collection.