Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,481 pages of information and 233,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Nicholas Vivian

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Nicholas Vivian was a schoolfellow and intimate friend of Richard Trevithick

Nicholas Vivian saw the Camborne steam-carriage, and was familiar with the stories of the early trials, as his friends and relatives were interested in it

1809 Mine captain Nicholas Vivian was appointed manager to re-establish working at Wheal Abraham mine, which had been idle for some years.

The Great Wheal Towan mine, St. Agnes, was reworked by Nicholas Vivian, with Captain S. Grose as chief engineer, erecting a couple of 80-inch cylinder pumping engines, the most powerful at that time in Cornwall.

c.1830 an old intimate of Richard Trevithick's, Captain Nicholas Vivian, managed the Wheal Towan mine. Mr. Neville, a shareholder and user of steam-engines in Wales, observed the economical working of the Wheal Towan high-pressure steam expansive engine, doing eighty-seven millions; he requested its manager to examine colliery engines, all of which were of the low-pressure kind; one of them was a Newcomen atmospheric, whose duty was six millions; four or five others were Watt low-pressure steam vacuum engines, doing fourteen millions; therefore the high-pressure steam-engine did six times as much work with a bucket of coal as the low-pressure steam vacuum, and fourteen times as much as the low-pressure steam atmospheric engine[1]

1858 Nicholas Vivian resided at Camborne

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