from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A device containing a usually spherical chamber or container, in which steam is heated and ejected through one or more narrow tubes to create propulsion or torque.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A form of blast-lamp for use in chemical laboratories, in which an alcohol flame is deflected by a stream of alcohol vapor escaping from a jet, this vapor being produced from liquid alcohol in a little boiler over the original flame.
- noun An instrument illustrating the expansive force of steam generated in a closed vessel, and escaping by a narrow aperture, said to have been invented by Hero of Alexandria in the second century
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun An apparatus consisting chiefly of a closed vessel (as a globe or cylinder) with one or more projecting bent tubes, through which steam is made to pass from the vessel, causing it to revolve.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun a
steam enginepowered by rocket propulsiondue to escaping steam; which consists of a pressure vesselmounted on a bearing, with one or more tubes which exhaust steam tangentially to the rotation axis thus creating rotation.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
What Sharkey found was that Hero, who had designed everything from the aeolipile (the world's first steam-engine, see picture above) to "a vending machine that dispensed a shot of holy water in exchange for a coin," had designed a mobile theatre, complete with Dionysus and some female worshippers, all automata, which came in on a sort of self-propelled, self-guided cart.
If you look at the fact that there are more than ten times the number of people alive today than in da Vinci's time (and less before that), it is no wonder that this innate intelligence did not catch fire, and Hero's steam-powered aeolipile (for example) remained a curiosity.
Such is the vehemence of these attacks, that the unfortunate subjects of them are often driven backwards for great distances at immense speed, on the well-known principle of the aeolipile.
They produced the screw, the ratchet, the water wheel and the aeolipile, better known as Hero's turbine.
Freely is far from alone in describing Hero's steam-driven aeolipile as a "steam engine," but I disapprove of this term.
Hey there aeolipile .. now, now you'll be alright.