In 1898, Irish captain Matthew Henry Phineas Riall Sankey wrote an article about efficiency of a steam engine in the Minutes of proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
He introduced a new type of diagram to represent the fluxes and energy losses in a steam engine, which is compared to an ideal steam engine. The width of the stream is proportional to the amount of heat.
Diagrams of this type are named after Sankey and are widely used:
More examples of Sankey Diagrams can be found at sankey-diagrams.com blog.
Tools for creating a Sankey Diagram: