John Calley (engineer)

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John Calley (also spelt Cawley) (1663 – May 1725, The Hague),[1] was a metalworker, plumber and glass-blower,[2] who became famous for being Thomas Newcomen's partner. Like Newcomen, he was a member of a Dartmouth family.

He helped develop the Newcomen steam engine or the atmopsheric steam engine. He worked with Newcomen in introducing the engine to the Midlands, operating under the patent of Thomas Savery.[3] The engine they created was a variation on the then current technology using a combination of steam cylinders, pistons, surface condensation and the separation of parts that were usually placed together to create this new technology.[4]

He installed an early Newcomen engine at More Hall Colliery in the grounds of Austhorpe Hall in Leeds, where he is said to have become ill and died during maintenance work.[5] However, there is also evidence that he died in The Hague in 1725, while trying to secure a foreign patent for another device.[citation needed]


  1. ^ J.J. Bootsgezel, "John Calley, the partner of Thomas Newcomen", Transactions of the Newcomen Society, 11:1, 135-137 : [1]
  2. ^ Gascoigne, Bamber. "History of Steam". HistoryWorld. Retrieved 16 November 2009.
  3. ^ L.T.C. Rolt and J.S. Allen, The Steam Engine of Thomas Newcomen (Landmark Publishing, Ashbourne 1997), 44-6.
  4. ^ "Thomas Newcomen - The Steam Engines of Thomas Newcomen". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 16 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Newcomen Engine at Austhorpe, site of". Engineering Timelines Social Network. Retrieved 30 March 2013.

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