Back Street Heroes : 2020-09-01

SHED BUILT : 76 : 76


VOL.III PART XXX it on a pin so it can rotate – that lets you have hinges, constrain levers to create mechanisms, and have wheels and axles. There’s more than one element in the machine at that point. Some time around the third patented the idea of a four-stroke internal combustion engine, and a German by the name of Nicolaus Otto managed to build one that worked shortly thereafter. Then a chap by the name of Daimler went to work for Otto’s company, 1712, though, that a commercial­ly viable steam engine gets invented by Thomas Newcomen and, even then, it didn’t have a crank and connecting rod, but worked used a rocking beam to raise and lower a piston in a 5 century AD there was a Roman stone sawmill at Hierapolis where the water-wheel powered a wheel with a pin on its face – the pin had a rod pivoting on it, and the other end of the rod was connected to a saw (Fig.5), which was the earliest known use of a crank and connecting rod to not only transmit power, but to change the nature of the motion from rotary to reciprocat­ing. At this point you might be thinking that that’s what the crank, con-rod and piston do in an engine, and you’d be right. As well as the connecting rod, the Romans also used pistons in cylinders, had one-way valves, and were familiar with the idea of steam power (or at least Hero’s turbine) – in fact, pretty much everything you need to make a steam engine. It wasn’t until and got it into his head that what the world needed was a ‘high-speed explosion engine’, built one, and in 1885 stuffed it into a two-wheeled chassis and called it a Reitwagen, or riding car. Most sources agree it was the first motorcycle. 1894 saw the production of the Hildebrand and Wolfmuller, which you could not only buy, but also didn’t have training wheels, and that was where we come in. The point I’m making here is that when we look at something like a brake lever, there’s a tendency to think that we know what that is, and how it works. The most obvious example I can think of is rear brake levers – rear brake levers for drum brakes typically have a lever ratio of around 6 or 7 to 1 (which is what car hydraulic brakes seem water pump. The applicatio­n of crankshaft­s and connecting rods to steam engines was hindered by a man called James Pickard who, in 1780, patented the flywheel and connecting rod, which led to the sun-and-planet gear arrangemen­t you may have looked at and wondered, ‘Why would you?’ (it was James Watt’s company circumvent­ing Pickard’s patent). If you stop to think about that, it took about one-thousand-fivehundre­d years for people to put a collection of reasonably well understood ideas together into a practical steam engine. By about 1800 high pressure steam engines come along, and people are thinking about using them to power vehicles, and by 1861 a French fellow by the name of Alphonse Beau de Rochas had 76 OCTOBER 2020