Monday, December 21, 2015

History: The Year is 1698

I've uploaded year 1698 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Steam-Powered Water Pump is Patented -- It is a very simple pump and it's not much but Parliament goes gaga.

Yo, Ho, Ho... Captain Kidd Turns Pirate -- Captain Kidd hits the wrong ship and all hell breaks loose.

Too Good Not to Mention... -- A tax on beards and goose-stepping in Germany.

The Steam-Powered Water Pump is Patented

This is a very simple, manually operated, valveless water pump powered by steam. Thomas Savery finally receives a general patent from the English Parliament to pump water using steam. Since other inventors have been working on steam-powered pumps they must seek a license through Thomas to continue their work. Thomas's design works after a fashion, but it needs a lot of tweaking. Thankfully, another inventor seeks a license from Thomas and improves his design. Parliament believes that these two inventors are on the right track (and they are) so they extend the patent beyond the normal deadline. (Good move, Parliament.) The idea behind the pump is to create a vacuum by heating water into steam, and then opening a valve to move the steam into a cooling chamber. A vacuum is created as the steam cools and draws water up a pipe. It is incredibly inefficient but it will pave the way for steam-powered applications. [1]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The reason Parliament wanted this water pump was because the inventors promised that they could pump out the local mines. Flooding in English mines had made local ore cost prohibitive, so having a water pump was really, really desirable. In the modern day, scientists are revisiting ancient pump designs, looking for new applications. The old Pulsometer pump was inspired by Thomas Savery's original design. It is considered a durable, low maintenance pump used for moving thick liquids or even mud. [2]

Yo, Ho, Ho... Captain Kidd Turns Pirate

A few years ago King William the 3rd gave Captain William Kidd a letter of mark authorizing him to attack pirates along the New England coast and to harass French shipping. He is a privateer, but his past suggests that he was once a pirate. His crew is unruly and difficult to control. During one trip in his ship, The Adventure Galley, he failed to salute a British Naval ship. The British Navy sent a shot across his bows to remind him. Instead of saluting, his crew turned and slapped their backsides. This did not go over well but what really caused Captain Kidd to take a turn for the worse was when he waylaid an Armenian ship which Kidd considered "French". Unfortunately, it wasn't French and there were English passengers aboard who were stripped of their worldly goods. When word got back to England, it was a political embarrassment so Captain Kidd was declared a pirate. When Captain Kidd realizes the British are hunting for him, he starts burying his assets (also known as treasure) in Madagascar and along the New England coast. One such cache will be dug up on Gardiners Island. Captain Kidd, himself will be arrested, tried and hung for piracy in 1701. They will leave his body hanging in public for three years as a warning to others. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Was Captain Kidd really a pirate? Politically speaking there was a lot of motivation for the government to declare him a pirate. He really goofed when he hit that Armenian ship. It made England look like a pirate nation so they disavowed his actions. But my personal opinion is that he was once a pirate, took a legitimate commission to become a privateer, and at times lost control of his crew who actually were pirates. When you are leading a band of cutthroats it is difficult to back up and say, "Uh... hey... guys! Time out! We made a mistake on that last one. We need to give them back all their stuff." They would have mutinied on the spot... just like they did to the previous captain. Rumors abound regarding Captain Kidd's treasure. It's always fun to think about digging for buried treasure but if you actually want to dig up the New England coastline, ask someone first. You don't want to be arrested. [8] [9]

Too Good Not to Mention...

* A tax on beards: Beards are no longer the modern style so Peter the Great of Russia places a tax on beards. Priests are exempt. [10]
* The Prussian Army starts goose-stepping. They also introduce iron ramrods to increase the speed of reloading their muskets. [11]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1698, Wikipedia.

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