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Via a recent answer of mine, an ultimately wikipedia, I've learned that the first Steam Engine used to drain a mine was invented by Jeronimo Beamont, in 1606. He got a patent for it too. This was in Spain. Another source from wikipedia, with a different book cited.

This predates Thomas Savery's "Miner's Friend" by about 100 years.

Why is this? Why did the steam technology not propagate across Europe from Spain? Did Spain not have any printing presses at this time? Is there something in the Spanish Economy hindering this? Did Britain and France just hate Spain?

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  • $\begingroup$ A couple guesses: Britain may not have had an overwhelming need for mine pumps, or the relative cost of the engine vs. semi-slave labor didn't warrant implementation. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jun 8 '18 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ Most likely, it either wasn't very efficient, or there wasn't much need for it. I can't find any details on Beamont's engine, but if it was anything like Savery's, it was only usable as a pump, and there were plenty of more conventional pump designs floating around already. $\endgroup$ – Mark Jul 11 '18 at 2:45

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