Railroad History

Its all about the rails

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1774 James Watt Steam Engine

Scotsman James Watt built first useful stationary steam engine. Watt truly put all his efforts into the production of the engine and is credited with several patents that improved the steam engine.

Once the engine was completed and proven in the middle of 1777, Beelzebub, as it was affectionately known, was used to pump water out of flooded mines. Over the next four to five years, all the mines in England and Scotland were supplied with Watt's fire engine pump.

The pump was next used to power factories and mills. The first factory engine was supplied to drive a corn mill in 1782.

Beelzebub: A train faster than a horse

Following Watt's improvements, many inventors attempted to adapt the steam engine to modes of transport on both land and water. To achieve motive steam power would, for the first time in history, allow man to travel on land at a speed faster than that of the domesticated horse.

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