World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

George Medhurst

Article Id: WHEBN0018329816
Reproduction Date:

Title: George Medhurst  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pneumatic tube, Atmospheric railway
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

George Medhurst

George Medhurst (1759–1827) was a mechanical engineer and inventor, who pioneered the use of compressed air as a means of propulsion. His ideas led directly to the development of the first atmospheric railway.

He was born in Shoreham, Kent and trained as a clockmaker at Clerkenwell, London, but later became interested in pneumatics.

In 1799, he filed a patent for a wind pump for compressing air to obtain motive power and the following year he patented his ‘Aeolian’ engine which used compressed air to power vehicles. In his pamphlet On the properties, power, & application of the Aeolian engine, with a plan and particulars for carrying it into execution, Medhurst proposed the establishment of Aeolian coach services, operated by pumping stations along the route.

In 1810, he published A new method of conveying letters and goods with great certainty and rapidity by air,[1] but did not patent the idea. This was followed in 1812 by his Calculations and remarks tending to prove the practicability, effects and advantages of a plan for the rapid conveyance of goods and passengers upon an iron road through a tube of 30 feet in area by the power and velocity of air.[2] He also envisioned carriages running on rails, propelled by a continuous tube beneath the rails, as would later happened in the atmospheric railway. Neither of these ideas was put into practical operation at the time. Shortly before his death in September 1827 Medhurst returned to the idea of pneumatic propulsion with his publication of A New System of Inland Conveyance, for Goods and Passengers ... with the velocity of sixty miles in an hour ... without the aid of horses or any animal power. [With plates.][3]

Other, more successful, inventions by Medhurst included a steam carriage, a ‘leak proof’ canal lock gate and a variety of weighing and balancing machines.

References

Sources

R. B. Prosser, ‘Medhurst, George (bap. 1759, d. 1827)’, rev. Anita McConnell, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 9 Jan 2009.

p. 240.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.