Chitenay Visit 2013

Denis Papin, 300th anniversaire – un week-end exceptionnel!

From the 19th to the 21st July 2013 the Comité Denis Papin will celebrate the life of Denis Papin close to his birthplace at Chitenay in the Loir et Cher Department of France.

The Committee has kindly invited the Trevithick Society’s conceptual replica of Trevithick’s 1801 Camborne steam carriage and the society has been delighted to accept. Plans are now being made to organise the transport and shipping to France by Brittany Ferries.

Denis Papin is revered in France as the inventor of the steam engine. He was born in the elegant cultural town of Blois just a few kilometres north of Chitenay in 1647 and died in obscurity in London about 1713. He graduated with a medical degree from the University of Angers in 1669. He is variously described as surgeon, physicist, mathematician and inventor. Papin was working with Huygens and Leibniz in Paris when he became interested in the properties of the vacuum. He visited London in 1675 and worked on an air pump as an assistant to Robert Boyle. An alchemist, Boyle is best known today for the law named after him that defines the relationship between gaseous pressure and volume.

While in London Papin invented the ‘bone digester’ and the safety valve, the two item for which he is internationally known. He addressed the Royal Society on the subject of high pressure in 1679 and was made a Fellow in 1680. He left for Germany in about 1687 and later came to England again because as a Huguenot he was unable to return to France. He was aware of the tremendous power that could be obtained from steam pressure and vacuum. He continued his inventive work by locating a piston within a cylinder and moving it by means of steam and atmospheric pressure. In this way he produced an engine that he intended to use in a carriage, a boat and for pumping water out of mines.

Papin developed a centrifugal pump and, like many inventors, was ahead of his time. About the time of Papin’s death Thomas Newcomen developed his successful atmospheric engine.

Blois. For over a thousand years Blois has been the centre of power and culture in the region. In addition to Papin many other important people have been associated with the town of art and history. Jean d’Arc made Blois her base for the relief of Orléans in 1429 and it was the birthplace of Houdini, now celebrated in the House of Magic.

Today Blois is a Unesco World Heritage Cultural Landscape of outstanding natural and architectural city situation on both sides of the Loire.

Chitenay. Less than ten kilometres from Blois, Chitenay has its own charming period buildings and the Circuit Vapeur Denis Papin offers the facilities for the Denis Papin Tercentenary Celebrations. These are being hosted by the Municipality of Chitenay, with the towns of Blois, Romorantin and Contres supported by Electicité de France, the General Council of the Central Region with the Land of the Castles of the Loire and the Ministry of Culture.

There is a wide variety of accommodation available in Chitenay, Blois and the nearby towns

We’re back!

The Trevithick Society’s team was represented by Colin French, Julia Hitchon, Phil Hosken and Kingsley Rickard with Roy Gill, Mark Pearce, Connor Salmon and Wayne Wills.

Read more: West Briton article.

Colin French has compiled a list of videos available on YouTube of the event. (see below)…

Colin was amongst a team of eight visiting the tiny village of Chitenay near Blois in Valley of the Loire to link the name and achievements of Richard Trevithick with those of the French inventor, Denis Papin, when they commemorated the 300th anniversary of his death.

This was filmed on the first day and includes about half of what was there. It was filmed in the morning before anybody really appeared.

This one was on Saturday when we were in costume for the official opening.

TV coverage.

This one shows quite a few things that are not on the other videos.


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