The world of steam.

Many people forget that in the 1800's - early 1900's it was the age of steam.

Sure there was great ships powered by steam.

Sawmills powered by steam.

But that wasn't all.

The greatest use of steam was for central heating. Many a city had boiler plants that made steam for hospitals, houses, businesses. All that steam, and there was a heck of a lot, was generally produced offsite at a large boiler plant.

Some houses had coal fired boilers, although to be fair most of these homes were for the fairly well off. Poorer homes generally had coal or peet fired stoves. Yes cooking stoves that also heated the one or two room non insulated homes.

Many of these poorer homes belonged to people who worked on steam in one form or another.

Steam had many many many jobs.

For example a single train in for service after a 100,000 miles came in and a thousand workers took her apart checked over everything, cleaned it, repaired or replaced parts, usually made on site, repainted it, and tested then filled in. IN A WEEK!

They had cranes for heavy heavy parts otherwise a bunch of men would lift and remove, or replace parts.

The machine shops of the stations were powered by...yes steam. Heated by...steam...

People traveled from 10 to a hundred miles by steam trains. ...daily.

There was also steam powered cars for the wealthy. They took about thirty minutes to get going but once they were going they ran really well. Average speed was 15 miles an hour.

Many people bicycled daily, summer and winter, to and from work, where they generally lived close too.

The trains and ships for example employed virtual armies of people to make these trains and ships. Let alone the boilers and engines.

Engineer's, which was where the current term originated, designed newer and better steam engines of all types.

There was sawmills, machine shops, cotton gins, cotten presses, winery's, wood shops, and many other steam powered factories as well. Yes even sewing factories had steam power running all those sewing machines.

The sheer amount of metal used in making all these machines, boilers, engines. trains. cars, ships and other steam powered machines is huge. Much of it was made with cast iron, wrought iron, and some steel. In the early 1900's when steel was produced quicker and easier steel became much more used.

Ive been studying the history of steam and trying to understand how it all worked. I am not steampunk. Still that once large world is almost gone. There is remnants of those times still around today if you look. Old great train stations. Towns in the middle of nowhere that were there because a steam train needed a water stop. Arches left in buildings that were actually once an arm or pinion for a large steam engine.

Oh yes some of those engines were two stories or more tall! The flywheels themselves took up one end of a building and had these really long leather belts on them. So if you see an old factory building with what looks to be a large round hole in it about two feet or so in diameter that may have been where one side of a flywheel was once housed. Many were turned into windows.

anyways just something I would let you know of.

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