EVANS, OLIVER (1755-1819), American mechanician, was born at Newport, Delaware, in 1755. He was apprenticed to a wheelwright, and at the age of twenty-two he invented a machine for making the card-teeth used in carding wool and cotton. In 1780 he became partner with his brothers, who were practical millers, and soon introduced various labour-saving appliances which both cheapened and improved the processes of flour-milling. Turning his attention to the steam engine, he employed steam at a relatively high pressure, and the plans of his invention which he sent over to England in 1787 and in 1794-1795 are said to have been seen by R. Trevithick, whom in that case he anticipated in the adoption of the high-pressure principle. He made use of his engine for driving mill machinery; and in 1803 he constructed a steam dredging machine, which also propelled itself on land. In 1819 a disastrous fire broke out in his factory at Pittsburg, and he did not long survive it, dying at New York on the 21st of April 1819.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)