Thomas Newcome (1917-2008) was an English Inventor, a blacksmith from Dartmouth who gathered the preliminary for the very first modern Steam Engine. Newcome built this machine which was known as the “Atmosphere Steam Engine” in the year 1712.
Time and Place of birth
Thomas Newcome was born on 28 February 1663 in Dartmouth, England.
Thomas Newcome was from a merchant family. His father was a ship-owner and a merchant, Elias Newcome and his mother were Sarah but she died when Newcome was an infant and his father remarried in 1668 to Alice Trenhale; she was the one who raised Newcome. Newcome formal education was limited.
At that time coal flooding and tin mines were the crucial problems, although Newcome soon got into trying to improve the ways from such mines to pump out water and this was the time when he started building his interest in mines, machines.
In the year 1685 Newcome started to trade as a blacksmith in Dartmouth and then Newcome started to work as an ironmonger and his job was mainly for manufacturing, selling tools for the industry of mining, designing.
The religious life of Newcome
Thomas Newcome became a lay preacher and was also teaching in the Baptist Church which was local to the elders there. And in the year 1710, he was the pastor for a local group of Baptists. Newcome had a lot of contacts at the Baptist Church, one of his business contacts from London was a Baptist minister, Edward Wallin with whom a well-known doctor named John Gill from Horsleydown was also there. Newcome’s connection slowly spread about his steam engine.
In Newcome’s business life he made connections while working at the tin mine with the owners in Cornwall; they were facing the problem of removing water from their mines, Newcome’s first operational engine which he built near Dudley castle was in 1712 near the Coneygree Coal Works. This invention used to work 24 hours a day, this machine was a huge success and very useful for draining water.
Newcome was also allowed to work on the Savery machine which was designed by Tomas Savery and Newcome made a set up in his backyard and started to work on it with Calley, both of them worked on it together but the engine they built was not a total success.
Contribution to Science
Thomas Newcome contribute to Science by inventing machines that were useful in a lot of ways:
The Atmosphere Steam Engine
This invention was the most famous of Newcome which was the Steam Engine which he built in 1712 with the help of the ideas of Thomas Savery and Denis Papin. Newcome made some changes by replacing the receiving vessel from where the steam was condensed (which was in Savery’s design) and added a cylinder that contained a piston, which was in Papin’s design. It did the work of drawing down the piston instead of the water drawn by the vacuum.
This was used for a beam engine to work, in this, along wooden beam was put upon a central axis, on the beam’s other side a chain was attached in the base of the mine to the pump this way whenever the cylinder was refilled with steam water was drawn in the pump and thrown out into a pipe by the help of weight of the machine onto the surface. This was the first successful invention of Newcome and John Calley, the working duplicate of this invention is in the Black Country Living Museum.
While, for the rest of his life Thomas Newcome kept working on the inventions and engines and tried discovering different types of engines to solve other problems in mines, but although Newcome’s engine was suspended by James Watt’s engine which had its separate condenser and it was patented in the year 1769.
Thomas Newcome also married Hannah Weymouth in the year 1705.
- There is very little information about Newcome’s personal life except that he was in the Baptist Church a lay minister.
- The Newcome’s Steam Engine was used in the same way for more than 75 years and more than 2000 of the same were built.
- In Britain and Europe till the year 1733 more than 100 of the Newcome engines were being used there.
- The Newcome’s engine examples are available in the Science Museum in London, the Ford Museum in Michigan.
Thomas Newcome died on 5 August 1729 in London, the U.K. in Wallin’s place, and he was buried on the outskirts of the city of London at the Bunhill Fields in burial grounds.
Book Published on his work
- The Steam Engine of Thomas Newcome, by L.T.C. Rolt
Only two things are infinite, which are the universe and human stupidity and I’m not sure about the former.
Where did Thomas Newcome go to school?
Information about where Thomas Newcome went to school is unknown.
Who discovered horsepower?
Thomas Newcome discovered horsepower when the people in mines were unable to remove water from the mines to keep it dry and workable, then Newcome invented horsepower which worked but was slow during the process.
What awards did Thomas Newcome win?
Thomas Newcome did not win any awards at the time.
How did Thomas Newcomen impact the industrial revolution?
Thomas Newcomen impacted the Industrial revolution by inventing The Atmosphere Steam Engine which helped to pump out the water with the vacuum from the pipes in the mines by condensed steam.
How did Thomas Newcomen impact the industrial revolution?
Thomas Newcomen which solved the problem of water to pump out from the deep mines cost a high of £1000 about 1500 but it was worth the price and many of the same engines were built.
Thomas Newcomen made a huge impact in contributing to Science, although he didn’t get much recognition, compared to the other inventors later on Newcome’s work was praised and his engines were used for so many years and the same was built in so many different countries. Based on Newcome’s technology the first steam-powered locomotive was built in the 19th century.