Kort Beskriftning, om Eld- och Luft-Machin mid Dannemora grufwor…. Marten TRIEWALD.

The First Steam Engine Outside of Britain

Kort Beskriftning, om Eld- och Luft-Machin mid Dannemora grufwor…

One large & fine folding plate depicting the steam engine at Dannemora (two small & unimportant paper repairs on verso). Title printed in red & black. 4 p.l., 52 pp. Small 4to, early 20th-century marbled sheep (a few minor stains), upper cover lettered in gilt. Stockholm: B.G. Schneider, 1734.

First edition and rare. This is the first account of the first steam engine used for practical purposes outside of the United Kingdom. Martin Triewald (1691-1747), Swedish entrepreneur, engineer, and amateur physicist, came to London where he attended lectures on experimental philosophy by his friend and mentor Desaguliers. He “also assisted Newcomen with the erection of at least one of his engines.”–Singer et al, A History of Technology, IV, p. 173. In 1716, Triewald was employed by Nicholas Ridley, whose family owned collieries and land in the Newcastle area. At that time, Ridley was interested in developing the Byker Colliery near Newcastle, a rich coal mine whose full potential, as with many others in the region, could not be realized owing to flooding. He proposed using Thomas Newcomen’s lately invented steam engine to drain the mine, of which there were only eight or nine working in the country. Triewald studied the construction of a Newcomen engine in Newcastle and in 1722 obtained a patent for a larger engine. Triewald was to remain in the Newcastle area until 1726, as an inspector of a coal mine, during which time he claimed to have built four engines for the Ridley family, making many improvements.

In 1726, Triewald returned to Sweden where he immediately applied for a patent for the Newcomen engine (including a number of improvements) and made a proposal to the partners of the Dannemora Mines — an important source of low phosphate iron ore — for an engine to keep the mines free of water and to hoist the ore. The following spring he spent five weeks constructing the engine house and machinery at Norra Silverberg, the deepest of the Dannemora mines. This was certainly the first steam engine used in Sweden for practical and industrial use and the first such engine outside of Britain.

This book is an account of the construction and use of the Triewald’s steam engines at the Dannemora Mines. The large folding engraved plate depicts Triewald’s steam engine, in rather dramatic fashion, situated over the opening of the mine.

Very good copy. Signature dated 1933 and bookplate (with his wife Dagmar) of Vilhelm Nordström.

❧ For a fine account of Triewald, upon which I have based this description, see the modern edition of Triewald’s The Art of Living under Water, originally written in Swedish in 1734…and now translated into English…with an Introduction and Commentary by Michael Fardell & Nigel Phillips (London: Historical Diving Society, 2004). See also Are Waerland, “Marten Triewald and the First Steam Engine in Sweden” in Transactions of the Newcomen Society, Vol. 7, No. 1 (1926), pp. 24-41.

Price: $15,000.00

Item ID: 6387