Category: history of technology

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The search for sustainable energy in 1869

Continuing our theme of engines, this week's pamphlet is Power without Fuel by James Baldwin, published in New York in 1869.  In this pamphlet, Baldwin explains his attempts to design an engine that isn't dependent on coal, wood, oil, gas, or other combustible fuel. His idea (he wasn't the first to think of it) was a variation on the carbonic acid motor: an engine that would run on a solution of carbon dioxide in water.  Engineers investigated carbonic acid engines as a possible replacement for steam power in the nineteenth century.  While the gasoline engine won out in the end, there are several turn-of-the-century patents for carbonic acid motors in the United States and Europe.  Today, we'd probably say that Baldwin was attempting to develop alternative energy, an endeavor which is one of the University of Missouri's four strategic research areas

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MERLIN catalog record

 

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Eighteenth-century artificial limbs, clockwork figurines, boat winches, and more!

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Machines et inventions approuvées par l’Académie royale des sciences, depuis son établissement jusqu’à présent; avec leur description. Dessinées & publiées du consentement de l’Académie, par M. Gallon.  Paris, G. Martin [etc.], 1735-77.

MERLIN catalog record.  Recently restored through the Adopt a Book Program.

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