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Thomas Savery

Thomas Savery (c.1650-1715) was an English inventor, born in Devon at Shilston.

Initially interested in naval applications of engineering (he designed an early paddle-wheel), Savery then became interested in pumping machines. On 2 July 1698 he patented an early steam engine for pumping water out of mines (hence their occasional name, the 'miner's friend'). Later he developed an improved version in partnership with Thomas Newcomen.

Savery obtained some of his ideas from the work of Denis Papin, a French physicist who invented a type of pressure cooker in 1679.