1 Man vs 10 Tons – Meet Wallace Wallington’s Primitive Leverage Mechanisms

We all know of pulleys and levers–simple machines that move massively heavy objects with just a small amount of force. Archimedes said “Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.” But what about the Egyptian Pyramids? Stone Hedge? Did they use the levers we know nowadays? Or did they have something simpler? Retired construction worker Wallace T Wallington might have the answer. Wallington has demonstrated how a[…]

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Researching the Trompe: Creating a Model

Up until the 20th century, trompes were large structures dug into the earth. Small-scale trompes were impractical because of the high cost of small piping. Now we have easy access to small pipes, such as PVC pipes. Small-scale trompes are simple. To demonstrate the possibility of small scale trompes, my brother and I fashioned a simple trompe out of $50 worth of supplies from the hardware store. We used a 5-gallon cooler, PVC piping (1/2-inch and[…]

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Illustrated description of the Taylor Hydraulic Air Compressor

In 1897, Charles H Taylor prepared a detailed booklet explaining his Hydraulic Air Compressor which he built for mines in Canada and the United States, such as the trompe in Ragged Chutes. View PDF of Illustrated Description of the Taylor Hydraulic Air Compressor Illustrated Description of The Taylor Hydraulic Air Compressor and Transmission of Power by Compressed Air Taylor Hydraulic Air Compressing Co. 1897 (copyright expired)

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Science of the Trompe

For a more basic descriptions of trompes, please read our trompe overview. The trompe–a sixteenth-century technology–uses falling water to collect pressurized air. But exactly how does a trompe work? Though simple to make, trompes use complicated physics. Below, we have compiled a basic explanation on the science of trompes and cited some of the numerical data scattered across the internet. (Please note that the following is based solely on books, videos, and articles created by external[…]

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The Trompe: A Basic Overview

A trompe is an ancient technology which uses falling water to compress air. The compressed air can then power machinery, aerate water, refrigerate, etc. Although the trompe fell out of fashion once fossil fuels became a major source of energy, the modern world can still harness its power. Design A trompe, often placed in a river, has a simple design. Flowing water falls into an intake pipe which has an air cone (or some other[…]

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Researching the Trompe: Gathering Literature

Trompes–an clean, efficient, and simple technology for capturing compressed air.  At Lost Technology, we have 3 goals for the trompe: Gather literature and resources about trompes Create trompe models to conduct research Find modern-world applications for the trompe Here’s some more details on how we plan to do that. Gathering Literature Pre-Industrial Revolution Books Engineers used trompes extensively in the seventeenth-century, but they fell out of fashion by the mid 1900s. Nearly all books discussing[…]

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“A Treatise on Hydraulics for the use of Engineers”

This book references trompes–which it sometimes call a “pyramidal trough” or “conical trough”) and their history in the mountain regions such as the Alps. It also has some data and numbers that you might find useful. pg. 60 – Pyramidal Troughs (a type of trompe) and experiments conducted by Lespinasse pg. 407 – “Trompe” and “Canelle” used in the Alps View PDF of A Treatise On Hydraulics A Treatise on Hydraulics for the use of[…]

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“Hydraulic Engineering” by Gardner Dexter Hiscox N.W. Henley

Hydraulic Engineering: A Treatise on the Properties, Power and Resources of Water for All Purposes gives detailed references to different trompe models, which it calls “hydraulic air compressors”. It also has several useful diagrams and references to using a trompe as a siphon. pg. 179 – Hydraulic Air Compressors (aka Trompes) pg. 97 – Trompe Used as a Siphon View PDF of Hydraulic Engineering by Gardner D Hiscox Hydraulic Engineering: A Treatise on the Properties, Power and Resources[…]

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“Compressed Air, Volume 4” (1900)

Compressed Air, as you can probably guess, talks all about compressing air. It has sections on capturing compressed air (such as trompes), and sections on application of compressed air (such as air-powered cars) Pg. 1125 – Trompe Pg. 818 – Air Powered Cars View PDF of Compressed Air, Volume 4 (1900) Compressed Air, Volume 4 1900 (copyright expired)

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“The Useful Metals and Their Alloys” by John Scoffern

The Useful Metals and Their Alloys gives some brief descriptions of trompes, including their use in ventilating mines and for Catalan forges. pg. 38 – Basic Trompe Description pg. 138 – Water Ventilation (how the trompe was used in mines) pg. 180 – The Catalan Forge View PDF of The Useful Metals and Their Alloys The Useful Metals and Their Alloys, Including Mining Ventilation, Mining Jurisprudence, and Metallurgic Chemistry Employed in the Conversion of Iron,[…]

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