The steam engine familiarly explained and illustrated; with an historical sketch of its invention and progressive improvement; its applications to navigation and railways
Books on Demand, 1840 - 350 pages
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Page 308 - ... giving the feeble arm of man the momentum of an Afrite; commanding manufactures to arise, as the rod of the prophet produced water in the desert; affording the means of dispensing with that time and tide which wait for no man; and of sailing without that wind which defied the commands and threats of Xerxes himself.
Page 310 - And certainly no man ever bestowed such a gift on his kind. The blessing is not only universal, but unbounded ; and the fabled inventors of the plough and the loom, who were Deified by the erring gratitude of their rude contemporaries, conferred less important benefits on mankind than the inventor of our present steam-engine.
Page 310 - It would .be difficult to estimate the value of the benefits which these inventions have conferred upon the country. There is no branch of industry that has not been indebted to them ; and in all the most material, they have not only widened most magnificently the field of its exertions, but multiplied a thousandfold the amount of its productions. It...
Page 301 - ... that the latter are contained in it in a latent state, so as not to be sensible to the thermometer or to the eye ; and if light be only a modification of heat, or a circumstance attending it, or a component part of the inflammable air, then pure or dephlogisticated air is composed of water deprived of its phlogiston, and united to elementary heat ?
Page 309 - This potent commander of the elements — this abridger of time and space — this magician, whose cloudy machinery has produced a change on the world, the effects of which, extraordinary as they are, are, perhaps, only now beginning to be felt — was not only the most profound man of science — the most successful combiner of powers, and calculator of numbers, as adapted to practical purposes — was not only one of the most generally well-informed, but one of the best and kindest of human beings.
Page 309 - By his admirable contrivance, it has become a thing stupendous alike for its force and its flexibility — for the prodigious power which it can exert, and the ease, and precision, and ductility, with which that power can be varied, distributed, and applied. The trunk of an elephant, that can pick up a pin or rend an oak, is as nothing to it.
Page 309 - W"e have said that Mr. Watt was the great improver of the steam-engine ; but, in truth, as to all that is admirable in its structure, or vast in its utility, he should rather be described as its inventor. It was by his inventions that its action was so regulated, as to make it capable of being applied to the finest and most delicate manufactures, and its power so increased, as to set weight and solidity at defiance. By his admirable...
Page 311 - His astonishing memory was aided, no doubt, in a great measure, by a still higher and rarer faculty — by his power of digesting and arranging in its proper place all the information he received, and of casting aside and rejecting, as it were instinctively, whatever was worthless or immaterial.
Page 312 - There was nothing of effort indeed, or impatience, any more than of pride or levity, in his demeanour : and there was a finer expression of reposing strength, and mild self-possession in his manner, than we ever recollect to have met with in any other person. He had in his character the utmost abhorrence for all sorts of forwardness, parade, and pretensions ; and, indeed, never failed to put all such impostors out of countenance, by the manly plainness and honest intrepidity of his language and deportment.