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The creation of steam locomotives began with the development of the steam engine. The invention of the steam engine dates back into the late 17th century. In 1698, Thomas Savery, an English inventor, patented a device that allowed for the use of steam to pump water. The steam engine that he created was used to remove water from mines. This design was improved upon by English engineer Thomas Newcomen in 1712. Later, further and more significant improvements to the steam engine were made by a Scottish engineer and inventor by the name of James Watt starting in 1763. It was Watt's improvements to the steam engine that opened the door to the invention of steam locomotives.