Savery, Thomas A.
Thomas A. Savery (1650-1715), was an English engineer who built the first practical steam pump in 1698. The Savery Engine was designed to lift water for such purposes as keeping mines dry and supplying towns with water. Although not a steam engine in the modern sense, Savery’s device was the first to provide mechanical power from steam. The air in the cylinder was purged by steam once every working cycle and was exhausted either together with the water or through a cock valve at the top of the device. The original Savery Engine was clumsy, inefficient, and slow, and thus did not enjoy widespread use.