1870 Steam Engine - Part 2
March 30, 2007 2:50 PM
Jay’s steam engine is an original similar to those pioneered by American designer, William Wright sometime around the 1860s - when Lincoln was president. William Wright is considered to be one of the most significant American steam engine designers of the 19th century. Born in 1818 with no formal engineering education, his love of steam evolved into outstanding achievements and the beginnings of what would ultimately shape the automobile industry to what it is today. Wright built his first engine at sixteen years of age, and in his forties began constructing engines under his own name.
A steam engine is an external combustion engine (ECE), which means the fire is not in the engine. As opposed to internal combustion engines (ICE), the conventional steam engine burns fuel at atmospheric pressure, so there’s no production of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide.
To get Jay’s steam engine up and running took a lot of time - and hard work. From start to finish, constructing the engine back to its glory days took six months, including the fabrication of an all-new governor. And though the actual engine remains low-tech, the new boiler located outside involves a low-emissions natural gas-fired steam generator that utilizes the best in modern technology.
Another modern day convenience? A blower sends air to the burner, mixed with natural gas. Creating about a four million BTU fire, the engine only takes about fifteen minutes to heat up.
Utilizing modern technology while retaining the artful simplicity of the engineer’s original invention, Jay has kept the splendor of Wright’s incredible workhorse intact.