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Heron of Alexandria

c 152, Alexandria
c 82 BC Egypt?

no picture available

principal papers


hydraulics, steam engine, mathematics

Heron, or Hiero, was a scientist and inventor in Alexandria. Heron wrote many books on mathematics, physics, geometry, and mechanics. The 'Pneumatica' describes mechanical devices operated by compressed air, water or steam, such as a fire engine, a water organ, and the aeolipile, which is the first steam-powered engine. His device consisted of a sphere mounted on a boiler by an axial shaft and having two canted nozzles to produce a rotary motion from the escaping steam. With this steam engine one opened the gates of the temple or town.

The later steam engines of the 18th century (Thomas Watt) were partly based on this design.