James Watt's workshop - Inventing the modern world

Explore the legendary attic workshop of James Watt as he left it on his death in 1819 with Ben Russell, Curator of Mechanical Engineering Science at the Science Museum, London UK.

This unique time capsule of more than 8400 objects brought from his home in Birmingham, throws a spotlight into Watt's life. He was much more than simply a brilliant engineer focussing on the development of the steam engine.

Here we learn that Watt applied his knowledge and skills to devise new technologies, to devising a copying machine to reproduce letters and sculptures, reminding us that Watt began his career as an instrument as an maker in Glasgow.

There are also many personal objects. In a corner, there is a trunk of books, drawings, paintings and writings of his son Gregory, who died in 1804 of tuberculosis.

KEYWORDS: James Watt, Steam Engine, Steam, Enlightenment, Lunar Society, Industry, Soho, Engineering, Matthew Boulton, Boulton and Watt, Science Museum, Museums, Book, Ben Russell

In Birmingham, Watt, Lunar Society,

James Watt

Ben Russell

Among the many treasures in the collections of the Science Museum in London is the complete workshop of the Scottish engineer James Watt (1736-1819), acquired in its entirety from the attic of Watt's Birmingham home in 1924, where it had been left as an industrial shrine since his death in...



Ben Russell

Thanks to:

Science Museum Group, Mary Evans Picture Library