Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Isaac Potter

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Isaac Potter (1690-1735). Born in Durham[1]

Joseph Potter was recruited by Joseph Emanuel Fischer, the son of the famous architect Fischer von Erlach, to travel to Austria to construct Newcomen engines. The silver mines of the Austrian Monarchy were constrained by flooding. The waterwheels had reached their technical limits, and water supply was limited. A successful transfer of technology saved the Habsburg state from bankruptcy: the steam engine replaced waterwheels in the battle against pit water.

The first atmospheric steam engine of the Monarchy was constructed in 1721 in Königsberg bei Schemnitz in what is now Slovakia. In the following year, another was constructed at the Schwarzenberg Palace. Both engines were built by Isaac Potter and Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach. Potter improved the control of the engine imported from England and from 1730 he successfully built further installations in the Slovakian coalfields. The Schwarzenberg engine fed the reservoir of a fountain.

The above information is from the Vienna Technical Museum website[2]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] '300 Jahre Karl VI. (1711–1740). Spuren der Herrschaft des letzten Habsburgers', hrsg. von der Generaldirektion des Österreichischen Staatsarchivs. In German, large pdf
  2. [2] Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) website