Denis Papin Quotes
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Turning a small surface of water into vapour by fire, applied to the bottom of the cylinder that contains it; which vapour forces up the plug (or piston) in the cylinder to a considerable height, and which, as the vapour condenses, (as the water cools when taken from the fire,) descends again by air's pressure, and is applied to raise water out of the mine.
In what manner that power can be applied to draw water or ore from mines, to discharge iron bullets to a great distance, to propel ships against the wind, and to a multitude of other similar purposes, it would be too long here to detail; but each individual, according to the particular occasion, must select the construction of machinery appropriate to his purpose.
I have endeavoured to attain this end (viz. the production of a vacuum in the cylinder) in another way. As water has the property of elasticity, when converted into steam by heat, and afterwards of being so completely recondensed by cold, that there does not remain the least appearance of this elasticity, I have thought that it would not be difficult to work machines in which, by means of a moderate heat and at a small cost, water might produce that perfect vacuum which has vainly been sought by means of gunpowder.
In the machine for a new use of gunpowder, which is described in the 'Acta Eruditorum' for the month of September, 1688, the first desideratum was, that the gunpowder fired in the bottom of the tube AA should fill the whole cavity with flame, so that the air might be entirely expelled from it, and the tube remain a perfect vacuum beneath the piston BB. But there it was mentioned, that the desired effect could not be sufficiently attained... But hitherto such attempts have been in vain; and always, after the flame of the gunpowder is extinguished, about a fifth part of the air remains in the tube AA.