What the future of space travel means for consumers

More than two thousand years ago Hero of Alexandria produced the first apparatus to which the name of steam-engine could rightly be given. Its principle was practically the same as that of the revolving jet used to sprinkle lawns during dry weather, steam being used in the place of water. From the top of a closed cauldron rose two vertical pipes, which at their upper ends had short, right-angle bends. Between them was hung a hollow globe, pivoted on two short tubes projecting from its sides into the upright tubes. Two little L-shaped pipes projected from opposite sides of the globe, at the ends of a diameter, in a plane perpendicular to the axis. On fire being applied to the cauldron, steam was generated. It passed up through the upright, through the pivots, and into the globe, from which it escaped by the two L-shaped nozzles, causing rapid revolution of the ball. In short, the first steam-engine was a turbine. Curiously enough, we have reverted to this primitive type (scientifically developed, of course) in the most modern engineering practice.

Excerpt from: How it Works by Archibald Williams