The earliest crushers were hand-held stones, where the weight of the stone provided a boost to muscle power, used against a stone anvil. – Valves move from open (green) to closed (red) The atmospheric engine invented by Thomas Newcomen in 1712, often referred to simply as a Newcomen engine, was the first practical device to harness the power of steam to produce mechanical work.Querns and mortars are types of these crushing devices. Newcomen engines were used throughout Britain and Europe, principally to pump water out of mines, starting in the early 18th century.In the coal industry, which grew up hand in hand as the preferred fuel for smelting ores, crushing and preparation (cleaning) was performed for over a hundred years in coal breakers, massive noisy buildings full of conveyors, belt-powered trip-hammer crushing stages and giant metal grading/sorting grates.Like mine pumps, the internal conveyors and trip-hammers contained within these 7—11 story buildings.In industry, crushers are machines which use a metal surface to break or compress materials into small fractional chunks or denser masses.Throughout most of industrial history, the greater part of crushing and mining part of the process occurred under muscle power as the application of force concentrated in the tip of the miners pick or sledge hammer driven drill bit.Mining operations use crushers, commonly classified by the degree to which they fragment the starting material, with primary and secondary crushers handling coarse materials, and tertiary and quaternary crushers reducing ore particles to finer gradations.
Additionally rockbreakers are typically located next to a crusher to reduce oversize material too large for a crusher.
Economies of scale gradually infused industrial enterprises, while transport became a key bottleneck as the volume of moved materials continued to increase following demand.
This spurred numerous canal projects, inspired laying first wooden, then iron protected rails using draft animals to pull loads in the emerging bulk goods transportation dependent economy.
Concurrently, mines needed drained resulting in Savery and Newcomen's early steam driven pumping systems.
The deeper the mines went, the larger the demand became for better pumps, the greater the demand for iron, the greater the need for coal, the greater the demand for each.