Ivan Polzunov


Ivan Polzunov

Ivan Ivanovich Polzunov ( _ru. Иван Иванович Ползунов 1728 - May 27, 1766 n.s.) was a Russian inventor. He is credited with creation of the first steam engine in Russia and the first two-cylinder motor in the world.

Biography

Ivan Polzunov was born in the family of a soldier from peasants of town Turinsk (currently Sverdlovsk region, Russia). After graduating in 1742 from "Mining school" (Горнозаводская Школа) in Ekaterinburg he worked as a "mechanics apprentice" for Chief Mechanic of Ural Plants "Nikolay Bakharev". Since 1748 he worked in Barnaul.

In the library of Barnaul plant he found works of Mikhail Lomonosov, that he studied by himself as well as the descriptions of contemporary steam machines by "I. Shlatter". In 1763 he proposed an original 1.8 h.p. (1.2kW) steam machine. The design used two cylinders on the same shaft that allowed its operations completely independently from water power even on dry places or on mountains. This design was a great step forward from contemporary stem machines that used hydropower to return the pistons back and so could not be used if the hydropower was not available.

The project was sent to Empress Catherine II. She awarded him by 400 roubles and promotion by two ranges (to captain-poruchik) but did not seem to appreciate the new technology, as she recommended to use hydropower to return the pistons "as done in Britain".

In 1765 Polzunov projected large 32 h.p. steam machine for air pumps for steel furnaces. The director of Barnaul plants general Porshin agreed to use Polzunov's two-cylinder design as Barnaul steel mills were in very dry area and in summer often did not have any hydropower at all.

The machine was assembled during winter and spring of 1766, the machine hall had very thin walls and a lot of draughts. Ivan Polzunov's tuberculosis became much worse, he coughed blood but still worked. He died on May 27 1766 at the age of 37, three days before the machine was finished. The machine worked three months, then was disassembled and replaced by convenient hydropower, despite paying off its costs in this three months. A working model of the steam machine made by Ivan Polzunov is in the museum of Barnaul and still works.

References

External links

* [http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1616.htm Engines of our Ingenuity – Ivan Polzunov]
* [http://www.hrono.ru/biograf/bio_p/polzunov.html Biography of Polzunov] – "(in Russian)"


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