The credit for inventing the steam engine cannot be given only to a single inventor as several contributions were made centuries ago. Dating back to the first century A.D, the idea of steam engine was first conceived by a Greek scientist and mathematician called Hero of Alexandria. Credit is given to this great mathematician for having recorded the first steam engine, otherwise known as ‘Hero Engine’. Even though he was the first person to derive the basic principle of the steam engine, it is not clear if the device was actually put to practical use during the earlier centuries.
During the year 1712, am atmospheric engine, mainly used for pumping water was created by an Englishman named Thomas Newcomen. The improved version of Newcomen’s work was introduced by a Scottish inventor called James Watt. He received exclusive patent rights for making and selling his own steam engine. Although most of them believe that the first steam engine was invented by James Watt, he derived the basic principles and theories laid down by the actual inventors.