ing of why they should attempt such apparent impossibilities, but always by their experiments and repeated failures increasing knowledge, and forming a firm road upon which those following them traveled to success.
In 1791 John Barber obtained a patent for an engine producing inflammable gas, mixing it with air, igniting it, and allowing the current so produced to impinge upon a reaction wheel, producing motion similar to the well known Aelopile, which I have at work upon the table. About this time, Murdoch (Jas. Watt's assistant at Birmingham) was busy introducing coal gas into use for lighting; in 1792 Boulton and Watt's works were lighted up with coal gas. From this time many gas engines were proposed, and the more impracticable combustion of gunpowder received less attention.
In 1794 Thomas Mead obtained a patent for an engine using the internal combustion of gas; the description is not a clear one, his ideas seem confused.
In the same year Robert Street obtained a patent for an engine which is n
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