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Jacques-Constantin Périer of France
Jacques-Constantin Périer was a key figure in the coming of the industrial revolution in France. he was born in Paris on 2 November 1742, and died on 16 August 1818. He was a self-taught engineer and a businessman. He and his brother Auguste-Charles Périer founded the Compagnie des eaux de Paris. They also established an engineering company (Frères Périer). See Perier (France).
They planned to supply water to the city of Paris with a 'pompe à feu', i.e. a steam-driven pump, following the early English terminology of 'fire pump' or 'fire engine'. He obtained the concession in 1777 and founded the Compagnie des Eaux de Paris in 1778.
In 1781 he installed a steam-driven machine to pump water from the Seine in Paris. This, or at least the complex components, was supplied by Boulton and Watt. Using this first machine as a model, Périer constructed copies of the Watt machine in his workshops at Chaillot, without ever paying any royalties to Boulton and Watt.
Jacques-Constantin Périer was also associated with Nicolas Bettinger in the development of the foundry and cannon forge at Indret, downstream of Nantes.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Périer brothers produced steam engines for several coal mines at Littry. One of them, preserved in the museum of the Molay-Littry min, is the oldest steam engine preserved in France.
For more information on Jacques-Constantin Périer and the subsequent development of his engineering business, see Périer (France).