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1769 In Paris, Nicolas Joseph Cugnot, a military engineer, demonstrates a self propelled steam vehicle - the first on record. The French government requests Cugnot to design and build a larger vehicle, capable of moving large amounts of artillery. 1765 James Watt, while engaged in repairing a Newcomen engine, comes up with several improvements which substantially change its method of operation and increase its efficiency. In so doing he lays a firm foundation for the design of all steam engines yet to come. While the outward journey is marked by many breakdowns the return journey is accomplished in ten hours at an average speed of 8.4 miles per hour. Gurney is later to be the inventor of the theatrical ‘Limelight’. First oil well in USA is drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania.



1787 Oliver Evans of Maryland patents a steam engine for the use in powering carts and carriages. 1698 English military engineer Thomas Savery uses Papin’s ‘Digester’ as the basis of a crude steam engine for pumping water out of flooded mine-shafts. 1712 Denis Papin, visiting London in the hope of finding patronage, writes to a friend reporting his failure and asking for financial support to pay for his return to Germany. Never heard of again, it is likely that Papin died in London in abject poverty and complete anonymity.

Thomas Newcomen, an "ironmonger" and blacksmith of Dartmouth, England, patents the " Atmospheric Steam Engine" and, together with John Calley starts to build and sell engines for pumping water out of mines.

1807 In Switzerland, Francois Isaac de Rivaz builds, and demonstrates the first working internal combustion engine.