Blog Stories There’s No I in Steam

There’s No I in Steam

By Steve Brian, December 4, 2018

Take a little water, add a little heat, confine it, give it a little time…(Nope, not yet, be patient.) Little more time, little more heat and…


BOOM! Pressure!!!  Now what?

Oh I know, let’s use it to keep people warm and move things around – big, heavy things. Harnessing steam to power our lives is based on the simple idea of expansion. As water heats and turns to steam, the molecules are more active and take up more space and if we confine them and channel them in pistons and turbines, we can get those hyperactive H2O’s doing our bidding. Then once the piston gets going, we can utilize that force to drive our engines. And we’ve been doing that for a long, long, loooong time.

Steam power can be traced back over two millennia; yet not till the late Renaissance do we begin to find tested and patented designs popping up in Europe. But it was James Watt’s ingenuity, or should I say engine-uity, in the late 18th century with his continuous rotary-motion design that took the idea of expansion from microcosm to macrocosm. His invention was a driving force behind the Industrial Revolution and the world was duly and truly revolutionized. The steam engines that powered ships across the seas and trains across the continents brought the previously far-flung corners of the globe within reach. Our own American westward expansion owes as much to the steam-powered locomotives as the canvas-covered wagons.

But it’s this time of year that gets me thinking about the wonders of steam in a slightly different way. Because as I write this, toasty and warm during a season that’s anything but, I’m thankful we got some of that traveling out of our collective blood and bolted those boilers down. Heat, sssstteam heat, makes a man glad and thinking fondly of clanking pipes and popping radiators from a life lived before. And that at the end of all that expansion, we found a warm place to call home.

Steve Brian

Broker | OR


Steve has made his career based on the concept that “service comes first.” He has helped clients buy and sell homes on both sides of the river and has a strong understanding of what it takes to negotiate in a way that allows his clients to feel that their best interests are always at the forefront of the negotiation table. He has worked with first time buyers, upsizers, downsizers and investors alike, priding himself on being able to provide well-informed advice based on the current market and leaving the final decisions up to his clients! After moving to Portland in 2002, Steve bounced around different neighborhoods on the Eastside of Portland and grew a love for straight shots of espresso. He has now planted roots with his family in the Terra Linda neighborhood of NW Portland and is a sucker for a delicious beer on a hot, summer day from one of the many local breweries in Portland. When he’s not wearing his “Steve the REALTOR®” hat, he likes to spend time with his wife and two boys, taking trips to OMSI, The Zoo, or just putting on some mud boots and finding trails to explore. "Service Comes First!"
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