Eolopiles were primitive steam engines invented by Heron of Alexandria.
Description[edit | edit source]
Described as "a parlour trick" by Mickey Mouse, the Eolopile was the most famous of the steam-powered devices created by Greek-Egyptian inventor and engineer Heron of Alexandria after he copied the idea of the steam engine from Egyptian priests' tricks and stratagems. Meant to demonstrate the concept of a steam-engine and do little else, the Eolopile was a large metal globe with two bent pipes in opposite sides, which, filled with water and placed over a fire, would spin rapidly due to the spin's violent expulsion through both outlets.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The Eolopile appears in the 1957 story Mickey Mouse in Magic Land.
It is closely based on the real-life Aeolipile, popularly known as "Hero's engine" due to Hero of Alexandria (also spelled, as in Disney comics lore, Heron of Alexandria) describing its construction — although, contrary to popular belief, he did not actually invent it. (The name "Aeolipile" has been spelled "Aeolipyl", or "Eolipile", but "Eolopile"" appears to have been a mistake on George Crenshaw's part.)