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James Watt Collection

James Watt, a Scottish engineer and inventor, is widely regarded as one of the key figures in the Industrial Revolution

Background imageJames Watt Collection: The Vigil, c1884, (1938). Artist: John Pettie

The Vigil, c1884, (1938). Artist: John Pettie
The Vigil, c1884. The Vigil of Arms was one of the religious exercises, which in the Middle Ages preceded the conferment of knighthood

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt in his Glasgow workshop improving on Thomas Newcomens 1712 Newcomen

James Watt in his Glasgow workshop improving on Thomas Newcomens 1712 Newcomen
3588302 James Watt in his Glasgow workshop improving on Thomas Newcomens 1712 Newcomen steam engine with his Watt steam engine in 1781, from Les Merveilles de la Science, pub.1870

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt, caricature C015 / 6706

James Watt, caricature C015 / 6706
James Watt (1736-1819). Caricature of the Scottish engineer and inventor James Watt. Watt made numerous practical improvements to the steam engine of his day

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt, Scottish engineer and inventor, 1833

James Watt, Scottish engineer and inventor, 1833. Watt (1736-1819) was born at Greenock on the Clyde, Scotland, and showed an interest in engineering and invention from an early age

Background imageJames Watt Collection: EyeUbiquitous_20052765

EyeUbiquitous_20052765
Scotland, Strathclyde, Glasgow, City centre with James Watt Statue and surrounding flower beds

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Birmingham, Boulton, Watt, Mudoch, B ham, 2009. Creator: Ethel Davies

Birmingham, Boulton, Watt, Mudoch, B ham, 2009. Creator: Ethel Davies
Bronze statue of Boulton, Watt and Murdoch, ‘ the Golden Boys, gilded in gold, to commemorate their development of the steam engine, Broad Street, central Birmingham, West Midlands, England

Background imageJames Watt Collection: The statue of Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch known as The Golden Boys

The statue of Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch known as The Golden Boys, Centenary Square, Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Steam engine of James Watt

Steam engine of James Watt
Schematic drawing of James Watts steam engine. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageJames Watt Collection: J. Watt, (1736-1819), 1830. Creator: Unknown

J. Watt, (1736-1819), 1830. Creator: Unknown
J. Watt, (1736-1819), 1830. James Watt (1736-1819) Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist, home educated. He improved the Newcomen steam engine

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt

James Watt
3586199 James Watt by French School, (19th century); (add.info.: Portrait of James Watt (1736-1819) a Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Aston Hall, Jacobean house in Birmingham, 1826 (engraving)

Aston Hall, Jacobean house in Birmingham, 1826 (engraving)
5912663 Aston Hall, Jacobean house in Birmingham, 1826 (engraving) by British School, (19th century); (add.info.: Aston Hall, Jacobean house in Birmingham, seat of James Watt (1769-1848)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt, Scottish engineer and inventor (engraving)

James Watt, Scottish engineer and inventor (engraving)
5233725 James Watt, Scottish engineer and inventor (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt (1736-1819), Scottish engineer and inventor

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Ancient Greek Aeolipile (engraving)

Ancient Greek Aeolipile (engraving)
5992613 Ancient Greek Aeolipile (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Ancient Greek Aeolipile)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: The Workshop of James Watt at Heathfield, near Birmingham (engraving)

The Workshop of James Watt at Heathfield, near Birmingham (engraving)
1062003 The Workshop of James Watt at Heathfield, near Birmingham (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Workshop of James Watt at Heathfield)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Royal Horticultural Societys gardens, South Kensington: statue of James Watt in the eastern

Royal Horticultural Societys gardens, South Kensington: statue of James Watt in the eastern central arcade (engraving)
606473 Royal Horticultural Societys gardens, South Kensington: statue of James Watt in the eastern central arcade (engraving) by English School

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt

James Watt
LLM454748 James Watt by English School, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt. Illustration from Ogdens cigarette card series on Leaders of Men issued in 1924)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt (engraving)

James Watt (engraving)
2786732 James Watt (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt. Illustration for Chatterbox (1876). Digitally cleaned image.); © Look and Learn

Background imageJames Watt Collection: The Life of James Watt (engraving)

The Life of James Watt (engraving)
1610583 The Life of James Watt (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Life of James Watt. Illustration for The Illustrated London News, 9 September 1865)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: The Channel Fleet in Portland Roads (engraving)

The Channel Fleet in Portland Roads (engraving)
1609993 The Channel Fleet in Portland Roads (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Channel Fleet in Portland Roads)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: The Baltic Fleet at Anchor off Tolboukin Beacon, Cronstadt and the Russian Fleet within View

The Baltic Fleet at Anchor off Tolboukin Beacon, Cronstadt and the Russian Fleet within View (engraving)
1608461 The Baltic Fleet at Anchor off Tolboukin Beacon, Cronstadt and the Russian Fleet within View (engraving) by English School

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Watts Garret at Heathfield (engraving)

Watts Garret at Heathfield (engraving)
5992581 Watts Garret at Heathfield (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Watts Garret at Heathfield)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt, 1736-1819 (colour litho)

James Watt, 1736-1819 (colour litho)
5220456 James Watt, 1736-1819 (colour litho) by Simpson, Joseph (1879-1939) (after); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt, 1736-1819)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt learning the power of steam (engraving)

James Watt learning the power of steam (engraving)
2793276 James Watt learning the power of steam (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt learning the power of steam)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: The story of steam (colour litho)

The story of steam (colour litho)
3099322 The story of steam (colour litho) by French School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The story of steam)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Statue of James Watt, by A Munro, at Birmingham (engraving)

Statue of James Watt, by A Munro, at Birmingham (engraving)
1611438 Statue of James Watt, by A Munro, at Birmingham (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Statue of James Watt, by A Munro, at Birmingham)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Statues in the Oxford University Museum (engraving)

Statues in the Oxford University Museum (engraving)
1612455 Statues in the Oxford University Museum (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Statues in the Oxford University Museum)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Great Inventors, Sir R Arkwright, George Stephenson,s F B Morse, James Watt, Bernard Palissy

Great Inventors, Sir R Arkwright, George Stephenson,s F B Morse, James Watt, Bernard Palissy, Eli Whitney (engraving)
971146 Great Inventors, Sir R Arkwright, George Stephenson,s F B Morse, James Watt, Bernard Palissy, Eli Whitney (engraving) by American School

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Portrait of James Watt. c. 1788 (coloured litho. )

Portrait of James Watt. c. 1788 (coloured litho. )
1275467 Portrait of James Watt. c.1788 (coloured litho.) by English School, (18th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt, FRS)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt and steam from the kettle (colour litho)

James Watt and steam from the kettle (colour litho)
3643735 James Watt and steam from the kettle (colour litho) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt and steam from the kettle)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt Experimenting (engraving)

James Watt Experimenting (engraving)
666826 James Watt Experimenting (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt Experimenting)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt, Chocolat Poulain trade card (colour litho)

James Watt, Chocolat Poulain trade card (colour litho)
726751 James Watt, Chocolat Poulain trade card (colour litho) by French School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Chocolat Poulain trade card, depicting a portrait of James Watt)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watts First Idea of Steam (engraving)

James Watts First Idea of Steam (engraving)
1620661 James Watts First Idea of Steam (engraving) by Stone, Marcus (1840-1921) (after); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watts First Idea of Steam)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Aston Hall, Warwickshire, Late the Residence of James Watt, Esquire, FSA (engraving)

Aston Hall, Warwickshire, Late the Residence of James Watt, Esquire, FSA (engraving)
5222312 Aston Hall, Warwickshire, Late the Residence of James Watt, Esquire, FSA (engraving) by Neale, J. P. (1771/80-1847); Private Collection; (add.info.: Aston Hall, Warwickshire)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: House in which James Watt was born, at Greenock (engraving)

House in which James Watt was born, at Greenock (engraving)
1591473 House in which James Watt was born, at Greenock (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: House in which James Watt was born, at Greenock)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: The Screw Engines of the 'Great Eastern'Steam-Ship, by James Watt and Company (engraving)

The Screw Engines of the "Great Eastern"Steam-Ship, by James Watt and Company (engraving)
1587539 The Screw Engines of the " Great Eastern" Steam-Ship, by James Watt and Company (engraving) by English School

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Cross-section of Watts steam engine (pen & ink and w / c on paper)

Cross-section of Watts steam engine (pen & ink and w / c on paper)
CHT214190 Cross-section of Watts steam engine (pen & ink and w/c on paper) by French School, (18th century); Archives de l Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees, Paris; eArchives Charmet; French

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt at work on the steam engine, 1763 (litho)

James Watt at work on the steam engine, 1763 (litho)
6015045 James Watt at work on the steam engine, 1763 (litho) by Hardy, Paul (19th Century) (after); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt at work on the steam engine, 1763)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Watt showing Boulton his First Beam Engine (litho)

Watt showing Boulton his First Beam Engine (litho)
5213042 Watt showing Boulton his First Beam Engine (litho) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Watt showing Boulton his First Beam Engine)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt discovering the Power of Steam (litho)

James Watt discovering the Power of Steam (litho)
6003956 James Watt discovering the Power of Steam (litho) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt discovering the Power of Steam)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Matthew Boulton (engraving)

Matthew Boulton (engraving)
815862 Matthew Boulton (engraving) by Breda, Carl Frederik van (1759-1818) (after); Private Collection; (add.info.: Matthew Boulton (1728-1809)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt

James Watt
LLM462754 James Watt by Marti, Ricardo (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt. Illustration for La Ciencia Y Sus Hombres by Luis Figuier (D Jaime Seix, 1876)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Pioneers in the world of power (litho)

Pioneers in the world of power (litho)
976626 Pioneers in the world of power (litho) by English School, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Pioneers in the world of power)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt meets Walter Scott (litho)

James Watt meets Walter Scott (litho)
976625 James Watt meets Walter Scott (litho) by English School, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt meets Walter Scott)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watt (chromolitho)

James Watt (chromolitho)
667032 James Watt (chromolitho) by French School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watt. French educational card, late 19th century.); © Look and Learn

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Watts first design for an oscillating engine, page 35 from

Watts first design for an oscillating engine, page 35 from
ILN111350 Watts first design for an oscillating engine, page 35 from The Illustrated London News, 5th July 1851 (engraving) (b/w photo) by English School

Background imageJames Watt Collection: The Outhouse behind Kinneil (engraving)

The Outhouse behind Kinneil (engraving)
5992610 The Outhouse behind Kinneil (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The Outhouse behind Kinneil)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: Chantreys Statue of Watt (engraving)

Chantreys Statue of Watt (engraving)
1593948 Chantreys Statue of Watt (engraving) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Chantreys Statue of Watt. Illustration for The Pictorial Times, 17 January 1846)

Background imageJames Watt Collection: James Watts low pressure double-acting steam engine, 1784 (chromolitho)

James Watts low pressure double-acting steam engine, 1784 (chromolitho)
968386 James Watts low pressure double-acting steam engine, 1784 (chromolitho) by European School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: James Watts low pressure double-acting steam engine)



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James Watt, a Scottish engineer and inventor, is widely regarded as one of the key figures in the Industrial Revolution. Born in 1736, he made significant contributions to the development of steam engines that revolutionized industries such as mining, transportation, and manufacturing. In "The Vigil, " a captivating painting by John Pettie from 1884, we catch a glimpse of James Watt's determination and focus. The artist beautifully captures his intense concentration as he works tirelessly in his Glasgow workshop. This scene depicts Watt improving upon Thomas Newcomen's 1712 invention - the Newcomen engine. Another fascinating portrayal can be found in Ethel Davies' artwork from 2009 titled "Birmingham, Boulton, Watt. " This piece pays homage to the collaboration between Matthew Boulton and James Watt that led to their successful partnership at Soho Manufactory in Birmingham. Together they transformed industry with their innovative ideas and inventions. A caricature from C015/6706 humorously showcases James Watt's impact on society during his time. It highlights his influence on steam power while also emphasizing his distinct appearance through exaggerated features. Watt was not only an exceptional engineer but also an active member of intellectual circles like the Lunar Society Meeting held at Town Hall George Square. Here he would engage with other brilliant minds of his era to exchange ideas and foster innovation. One cannot discuss James Watt without mentioning his most famous creation: the steam engine bearing his name. With its improved efficiency and reliability compared to previous models, this invention became instrumental in powering factories across Britain during the Industrial Revolution. Even today, we are reminded of James Watt's legacy when we visit Aston Hall - a Jacobean house located in Birmingham where he once resided. An engraving from 1826 immortalizes this historic residence which serves as a testament to both Watts' engineering genius and personal life. Lastly, who could forget about "James Watt and the kettle".