The Development of Steam Power from Ancient Greece to Modern Times


Whare Wānanga, L2, Central City Library, 44 Lorne St, Auckland City Centre

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Wednesday 8 June 2022




Research Central, Auckland Libraries
09 890 2412


The Development of Steam Power from Ancient Greece to Modern Times

One hundred years ago, Dr A. Evan Lewis' grandfather built a steam engine to Heron of Alexandria’s 2000 year old design.

Evan inherited this model and restored it to working condition. He then built his own model (seen above). 

The concept of steam power lay idle until about 1700, but by 1900 it was used everywhere. 

Evan also inherited a steam indicator (an instrument used to measure the horsepower of a steam engine) from his grandfather who kept a daily record of results when he worked at Crum’s Brick works in New Lynn. Evan will show the engines, indicator and the record.

Developments by Savery, Newcomen, Trevithick, Watt and Stevenson will be illustrated using animations and videos.

About the speaker

Evan had an interest in engineering from an early age. He was a student in his father’s engineering class at Te Puke High School for 4 years.

He completed a BSc and MSc at Canterbury University, a PhD at Auckland Medical School and after 5 years in Europe, taught computer science at Waikato University.

After completing a MD degree in Miami USA, he practised medicine in Tennessee for 27 years, retiring in 2020. He inherited his father’s workshop, lathe and Heron’s steam engine in 2014. He has been helping to restore a steam engine at Goldmine Experience, Thames, NZ since then.

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