As mining became more important and the mines ran deeper into the ground the means by which water could be removed became more pressing. In 1712 Thomas Newcomen and his assistant developed the first successful engine near Dudley Castle in Tipton. So successful was the Newcomen engine that it was soon deployed in countries around Europe and beyond.
The Black Country Museum in Dudley has reconstructed the Newcomen engine after much painstaking research. They now have a full working replica of the 1712 engine.
The engine works by water in its boiler being heated by a coal fire. The steam generated passes through a valve into a large brass cylinder. Cold water is injected into the cylinder condensing the steam and creating a vacuum beneath the piston which pulls the beam down and causes the pumps to move.