Ferdinand Verbiest

Ferdinand VerbiestIn existographies, Ferdinand Verbiest (1623-1688) (IQ:170|#404) (EP:15) (CR:3) was a Flemish mathematician, astronomer, engineer, theologian, and translator, characterized a “veritable universal genius” (Delumeau, 1977), noted for his c.1670 Verbiest engine, a small two-foot sized aeolipile-powered wagon, the world's first working automobile; not be succeeded (Ѻ) until Denis Papin’s c.1698 piston and cylinder based steam-powered cart.

Overview
In c.1670, or between 1665 to 1681, Verbiest connected the turning mechanism of a Hero-style aeolipile to the axle of the front wheels of a small two-feet long wooden cart, such as shown below, from an 18th century reconstruction, and got his small vehicle to move in a circle for more than an hour.

Verbiest auto-mobile

Verbiest summarized the following on his engine:

“The [cart] moved in a circle with a motion and not slow for an hour or more, for as long a time, be it understood, as the steam continued to be forcefully expelled from the aeolipile.”
— Ferdinand Verbiest (1687), Astronomica Europaea (§: Pneumatics, pg. 88) [1]

Verbiest is said to have built this as but one of his many “scientific toys” (Ѻ) for the young emperor of China.

This, in engineering history, is said to be the first working auto-mobile or “model of a self-propelled vehicle”.

Verbiest’s toy auto-mobile would not be succeeded (Ѻ) until Denis Papin’s c.1698 piston and cylinder based steam-powered cart, which was superseded by Nicolas Cugnot's 1769 three-wheeled steam-powered automobile. [2]

References
1. (a) Verbiest, Ferdinand. (1687). Astronomica Europaea (pg. 88). Dillingen.
(b) Kirby, Richard. (1956). Engineering in History (co-authors: Sidney Withington, Arthur Darling, Frederick Kilgour) (pg. 267). Courier, 1990.
2. Kirby, Richard. (1956). Engineering in History (co-authors: Sidney Withington, Arthur Darling, Frederick Kilgour) (pg. 267). Courier, 1990.

Further reading
● Delumeau, Jean. (1977). Catholicism between Luther and Voltaire: a New View of Couter-Revolution (pg. 65). Burns & Oates.

External links
Ferdinand Verbiest – Wikipedia.

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