An inquiry into the hot air engines of the 19th century

The aim of this book is to provide a circumstantial and detailed information about the hot air engines of the 19th century. The inquiry takes base on the reading and scrutiny of numerous archives between 1800 and 1920, most of them being books, magazines, scientific review, articles, patents.

Each time an archive is reproduced, the source is given. Pages that are provided without source are written by the author of this site.
The archives are reproduced as they were written, without any changes. Nonetheless some additions were done for convenience of reading. For better clarity, subtitles were added especially for long texts. Some colored notes were also added within some texts for better understanding (for example for units traduction or explanations). Apart from subtitles or colored notes, the reader will receive the original text, with no addition, substraction, nor changes.

The reader should take into account the context in which the archives were written : the 19th century. A century that begun without electricity, locomotive, railroad, steamboat, telephone, vaccine, cars, and at the end of which all these technologies were eventually discovered.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the only existing engine was the good old steam engine. At its end, all major engines had been invented: air engines, gas engines, electric engines, hydraulic engines, but also the turbine, be it a steam, gas or hydraulic turbine.
This was the century that put the World into motion!

The book will present the main air engines inventors, their technology, a description of their operation. It will do it taking into account the technological evolution, giving a special focus to the specific technological problematic the inventors tried to answer.
Minor inventors will also be presented with a special focus on the reason of their failure.

The hot air engine existed during more or less a century and a half and then was abandoned ; a tragic destiny when considering that this engine could be a clean technology for power generation. Will it one day come back and become a technology for the future ?
The book, when presenting the engines, will analyze the causes of its dismissal. It will also benchmark its position in comparison to its competitors, the steam engine and the gas engine. At last it will try to address whether this technology can be one day sustainable.

Numerous inventors started a hot air engine venture, many scientists wrote about this engine, hundreds of patents were filed, thousands of articles have been written. An enormous amount of work has been dedicated to this technology. All of this resulted in an incredible amount of learning and science.
This book, by bringing most of it together in one place, will allow anyone curious about this engine to leverage on a century of acquired knowledge and experience.

Inventors of hot air engines

Amontons Arnott
Cayley Ericsson
Franchot Glazebrook
Gordon Parkinson and Crossley
Roper Shaw
Stirling Wenham
Wilcox Woodbury

Many other inventors will be added through the course of the writting of this book.

NOTE: This book is in writing. It will be updated regularly. Being written by a non English native, the book will unfortunately be tainted with unwished language mistakes.