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One of the most significant inventions in history, the steam engine was a catalyst for the Industrial Revolution, and was a primary source of power until the 20th century. As engaging as it is educational, this kit supplies all the parts, fasteners and tools needed to create a functional model of an industrial-era steam engine.

The completed engine relies on the combustion of solid fuel tablets below a water-filled boiler to create steam. As the steam escapes through a pipe, it pushes a crankshaft that turns a flywheel, completing the conversion of heat energy to mechanical energy. The momentum of the counterweighted flywheel carries the crankshaft back to its starting position, ready for the next cycle.

The kit is made in Germany by Wilesco, a firm that has produced steam-engine models for over 60 years. Precisely manufactured for a close fit and smooth operation, most parts are made of steel, plated with chrome or copper, or coated in a durable enamel finish.

Recommended for ages 16 and up, the 49-piece kit is moderately challenging and assembles in under an hour; some familiarity with mechanics or model making is helpful. Includes a screwdriver and two small wrenches, a funnel for filling the boiler, and complete instructions.

Requires occasional lubrication with light machine oil (supplied). Solid fuel tablets are readily available separately.

A great way to learn about physics, mechanics, and even history, all while having fun.

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