2 July 1759|
Warren, Worcester, Massachusetts, the United States
|Died||20 January 1849
Belfast, Maine, the United States
|Nationality||the United States of America|
|Fields||high-pressure steam engine|
Nathan Read (2 July, 1759 - 20 January, 1849) was a United States engineer and steam pioneer.
Nathan Read was the true inventor of the high-pressure steam engine in 1789, this was twelve years before the steam-engine was known to be used in the form of a high-pressure engine,and lead a great revolution in steam power to navigation and land-transport.
Early Life and His Family 
Nathan Read was born in Warren on 2 July, 1759. His ancestors came from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, northeast England. His father, Reuben Read, was an officer in the Revolutionary service ; and his mother, whose maiden name was Tamison Eastman, was first cousin to Major-General Nathaniel Greene, of Rhode Island.
In 1774, Nathan Read commenced his preparatory studies for College. At the close of the summer vacation of 1777, he became a member of Harvard University.
Harvard University 
In Harvard, Read studied medicine and graduated in 1781. He taught school in Beverly and Salem and was elected a tutor in Harvard University. After graduated, he became a scholar until 1783. Then, he was elected a tutor and continued his labors as such where he continued until 1787.
As a apothecary 
High-pressure steam engine 
From October 1788, Nathan Read quit the last work and began to made a number of improvements of the steam engine.He built the tubular boiler, a new kind of steam boiler. Then made efforts on improve the function of steam cylinder, and placed it in a horizontal position. So the engine could sustained much higher pressure than ever before, that is to say Read invented the high-pressure steam engine, a new kind steam engine, different from James Watt's old engine. Read made the engine more convenient and portable, also much lighter and safer. The most important,was that the new engine needed much less room and fuel than the old one. Read was succeeded in reconstructed steam engine, he modified the Watt engine to a high-pressure engine, and could be widely used in new fileds, such as steamboat and locomotive.
the Engine used in transportation 
To proved the useful of the high-pressure steam engine, Nathan Read made several models of steamcar and steamboat in 1790. Read's experiments was very succeeded, it proved that the engine he built was functioned well. He also devised the true inventor of the chain-wheel to using paddle wheels to propel the steamboat, and set up a shipbuilding factory with his friends in 1796.
Nail Machine 
Several years later, Read made another important innovation, he developed a new machine, which could been cutting and heading nails at one operation. It patented on January 8, 1798.
Other Inventions 
He developed a style of rotary steam engine in 1817.
In agricultural areas, he had more inventions and plans. Such as threshing machine, thrashing machine, different forms of pumping engines and a new kind of windmill. Came up with a plan for using the expansion and contraction of metals, multiplied by levers, widely used in winding up clocks and other purposes. He patented some of them, but mainly used in agricultural fields and never patented.
Nathan Read married to Miss Elizabeth Jeffrey in October 1790.
Read was elected as a Federalist to the Sixth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Samuel Sewall; he was reelected to the Seventh Congress and served from November 25, 1800, to March 3, 1803. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1802. In 1803, he was judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Essex County. In 1807, he moved to Belfast, Maine, and was judge of the county court of Hancock County that year. He was instrumental in establishing Belfast Academy and served as trustee for forty years. He died near Belfast; interment was in Grove Cemetery, Belfast.
- Nathan Read at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Engines of our Ingenuity No. 2089 NATHAN READ by John H. Lienhard