Corliss Beam Steam Engine

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View of the steam engine built by George H. Corliss for the Centennial Exhibition of 1876
The Corliss beam steam engine.

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The Mugar Memorial Library, The Internet Archive

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Description

Perspective view of the pair of steam engines built by George Henry Corliss for use in the Machinery Hall of the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, held in Philadelphia. The Engines ran power to all the machinery in the building as well as other parts of the world’s fair.

The author of the corresponding entry offers the following additional information:

The invention of the Corliss engine marks an era in steam engine construction, and the history of its introduction bears a striking analogy to that of the pumping engine invented by Watt. Like Watt, Mr. Corliss was contented to displace the older forms of engines by his more perfect device, and take in payment the value of a portion of the coal saved; and like Watt, he soon found that proprietors of mills were unwilling to render him true accounts of the saving effected. Now that the patent has expired, the Corliss engine, or some modification, has been largely adopted as the standard design by engine-builders in this country; and it has displaced almost all other styles abroad.

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