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Author Topic: Steampunk without coal  (Read 1305 times)
yereverluvinunclebert
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« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2017, 11:18:52 am »

An early example exists here:
Finch Foundry - The last working water-powered forge in England
- If you don't know Finch Foundry, then you'll love this.

When I was very young  this forge was still in operation commercially.

This video has some 'folky' music but shows it in operation.

FINCH FOUNDRY


The last video, no music and really being shown how to use the tools:

Working the Smithy at Finches Foundry, Sticklepath
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 11:24:23 am by yereverluvinunclebert » Logged

Lightquick - Steampunk Widgets and Icons of Some Worldwide Repute
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« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2017, 11:13:55 pm »

Water power. Water wheels are everywhere. Machine belts run through the cities to transfer power to dry places. Spring-winding stations use water power to wind springs to power vehicles and portable devices.
Given the inefficiency in transferring mechanical power via belt over long distances, I imagine they'd use biofuel powered engines, or even pedal power, instead of trying to transmit it from water mills. Of course, that would change when someone figures out how to use electricity...

With energy intensive industries tied to rivers, how would settlement patterns change? There's only so much energy you can get out of a waterfall, whilst if you have coal you can just add another engine. I'm thinking of textile mills by rivers producing cloth and thread, and sending them out via canal to other towns where they would be turned into clothes and other items in a human powered cottage industry. That said, it shouldn't take *that* much power. I suppose it depends on what order things happen in, and how long there is between developments - if we had just the agricultural revolution, we'd have most people living in towns, and consequently everyone would be wealthier (halving the amount of people needed to work the land frees up a lot of labour to produce clothing, furniture, canals etc) but we wouldn't have textile and lumber mills.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2017, 06:45:44 am »

Given the inefficiency in transferring mechanical power via belt over long distances, I imagine they'd use biofuel powered engines, or even pedal power, instead of trying to transmit it from water mills. Of course, that would change when someone figures out how to use electricity...

I was thinking in terms of the San Francisco cable car system. The streetcars are propelled by steel cables that run through a pulley system under the streets. The first line was built in 1873. Some of the cable circuits (a variation of the belt drive) are miles long.
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