Sunday, March 22, 2009

Samuel Morey - Compressionless Gas or Vapor Engine

Samuel Morey (October 23, 1762 - April 17, 1843) was in the steamship business, and accumulated more than 20 patents, one of which being for a version of the internal combustion engine. Morey was very fascinated with vapors, as an excerpt from a letter in which he wrote to Benjamin Silliman in 1834 reads: “It is now more than twenty years since I have been in the constant, I may say daily practice of making experiments on the decomposition of water, by mixing with its vapor that of spirits of turpentine, and a great portion of atmospheric air.” An important discovery he made was that turpentine vapor in air was highly explosive. This led to the development of his internal combustion engine. His engine, although containing many components of modern-day combustion engines like cylinders, valves, cams, and a carburetor, was a bit "backwards" in that, the explosion of gas and air did not drive the pistons, but rather the cooling after the explosion, which created a vacuum in the cylinder, allowed atmospheric pressure to push the piston into the cylinder... or, you could ignore that run-on sentence and think of it as the piston was sucked into the cylinder rather than blown out. Water was also used to aid in the post-explosion cooling. Morey demonstrated his engine on a boat and wagon, and you could almost say a car... except he fell off the car and it took off without him and eventually wound up in a ditch, which is pretty good for the 2nd car ride in the world, and the first in America. Some people still haven't proved much better at driving vehicles. Sadly, no one really wanted to buy Morey's engine, and he became frustrated. As a closing note, I have decided to include another excerpt from Morey's notes, regarding his hopes of using his engine to change the world: "Is there not some reason to expect that the discovery will greatly change the commercial and personal intercourse of the country. There is good reason I trust to conclude that transportation on good roads or railroad may be done much cheaper as well as quicker than by locks and canals, besides having the great advantage of being done, much of it, in the winter a time much the most convenient of the farmer. In their personal intercourse, if it should be generally thought most prudent to continue their intercourse on the earth’s surface, yet I think there will be little use of horses for that purpose." - Samuel Morey

Samuel Morey -- Useful Information
http://kinnexions.com/smlsource/samuel.htm

Jay Leno <3's Samuel Morey!
http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/sub_coll_leno/1302921.html

he got a bridge named after him.. that's pretty good
http://www.orfordnh.us/history/current/rededication.html

One of Morey's Engines:
http://www.vernmaine.com/images/new/morey_large.jpg

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