Timeline of the development of the steam engine

Predecessors of the steam engine


  • 1712 - Newcomen presents the first real piston-steam engine
  • 1775 - Start of the cooperation of the inventor Watt and the industrial Boulton
  • 1776 - Watt improves the Newcomen-engine. Watt is often regarded as the inventor of the steam engine, but that is absolutely wrong, it was Newcomen
  • 1777 - First Newcomen-engine in Holland, in a polder near Rotterdam
  • 1781 - Hornblower develops a compound-engine, but he violates the patent of Watt

growth of steampower















  • 1800 - The patent of Watt ends, and immediately many new designs enter the market
  • 1801 - First Cornish beam-engine
  • 1849 - Erection of the Cruquius-pumping station, the biggest Cornish-engine ever


  • 1801 - Trevithick develops his steam-locomotive. For the first time high-pressure steam is used and for the first time the engine has no beam
  • 1814 - Stephenson builds his first steam-locomotive
  • In the 19th century many engineers develop many engines
  • 1909 - Invention of the uniflow-engine by Prof. Stumppf


  • 1884 - Sir Charles Parsons develops the first turbine
  • 1889 - Westinghouse perfects the turbine in a form, still used today