from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The disk which is fitted closely to the interior of the cylinder, and is the direct receiver or transmitter of the power developed: distinguished from the piston-rod.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The cylinder is 10-inch bore, and 14-inch stroke; steam chest extends enough beyond the ends of the cylinder so that the steam travels only 2½ inches, the shortest distance possible, after leaving the valve before it reaches the piston-head, and the space between the piston-head and cylinder-head is only one-fourth of an inch, the bolt heads being counter-sunk until even.
How wonderful it all was, he thought -- the up and down stroke of the piston in and out of the cylinder, which oscillated from side to side guided by the eccentric; with the steady systematic revolution of the shaft, borne round by the crank attached to the piston-head, all working so smoothly, and yet with such resistless force!
The piston of the gasoline engine, however, working by the force of exploded gas, produces power when moving in one direction only -- the piston-head is pushed out by the force of the explosion, just as the plunger of a bicycle pump is sometimes forced out by the pressure of air behind it.
Some drink whisky, and some drink brandipanee, and some drink cocktails -- vara bad for the coats o 'the stomach is a cocktail -- and some drink sangaree, so I have been credibly informed; but one and all they sweat like the packing of piston-head on a fourrteen-days' voyage with the screw racing half her time.
To the surprise of the engineer, the engine began one day working at greatly increased speed, when it was found that the piston-head had been pierced by accident and that the cold water had passed in small drops into the cylinder and had condensed the steam, thus rapidly making a more perfect vacuum.
Ask any real piston-head who lives and breathes grease oil and they'll tell you that there's no more invigorating, satisfying, and relaxing sound than the monstrous roar of an unbridled V8 engine piercing the road.