“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Darien in McIntosh County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

How Steam Engines Worked

Fort King George Historic Site

How Steam Engines Worked Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 22, 2013
1. How Steam Engines Worked Marker
Inscription. There were numerous styles of steam engines used during the Age of Steam circa 1790-1920. Though there were variations, all steam engines used the same basic concept. Through a system of heat, metal rods, and pistons, very high pressure steam was produced and used to turn a flywheel that, once connected to a conveyor, sent out enormous power. Steam engines spawned an Industrial Revolution in the United States during the nineteenth century. By powering industries such as this mill, steam power brought enormous wealth for this country. Also , as industry grew, large cities did as well, thus helping to transform the United States from a primarily agrarian society, into an industrial super power.

This mill utilized a 70 horsepower Boulton an Watt design. At the corner of these ruins is the foundation where this large steam engine was probably mounted.

Boilers heated up water to produce steam. This high pressure steam then ran through a pipe toward the cylinder valves.

Look closely and you will notice valves at both the top and bottom to the right of this cylinder. Inside the cylinder was a piston. When steam was pumped into the cylinder through the top valve, this would drive the piston down. When the top valve closed the bottom opened. Then steam entered and drove the piston up. Hence,
How Steam Engines Worked Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 22, 2013
2. How Steam Engines Worked Marker
this was a “two stroke” engine.

The governor was connected by chain to the flywheel. If the flywheel moved too fast, the propulsion of this device would speed up and force the balls outward. This, in turn, would reduce the amount of steam powering the engine, thus slowing it down to a more appropriate and safer speed.

Once the steam had served its purpose in the cylinder, it was sent into a condenser. The condenser sat in a cold water tank. This turned the steam back to water. Next to the condenser is a pump that pumped the hot water to other pumps that sent the water back to the boiler where it was recycled. Notice how the pumps are operated by pistons connected to rods powered by the beam.

The beam is what powered the flywheel. It was connected to the piston inside the cylinder. When the piston went down the beam on the cylinder side went down. The piston going up produced the opposite effect. On the flywheel side, the beam is connected to a rod that used round gears at the bottom to create circular motion in the flywheel.

The flywheel produced energy that ran the mill. It was connected to a master conveyor that moved many other conveyor belts on rotating rods that powered the millís machinery.
Location. 31° 21.864′ N, 81° 24.948′ W. Marker is in Darien, Georgia, in McIntosh County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of McIntosh Road and Wayne Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is on the grounds of the Fort King George Historical Site. Marker is at or near this postal address: 302 McIntosh Road, Darien GA 31305, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lower Bluff Sawmill (here, next to this marker); Guale Indian Village (here, next to this marker); 200 Years of Sawmilling (a few steps from this marker); Old Fort King George (a few steps from this marker); To The Soldiers Of Fort King George (within shouting distance of this marker); The Savannah Lumber Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Early Spanish Mission (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Birthplace of John McIntosh Kell (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Darien.
Also see . . .  Fort King George Historic Site. (Submitted on November 16, 2013.)
Categories. Forts, CastlesSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 15, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 345 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 15, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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