James Watt, British engineer, as a young man, c 1769.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Mezzotint (published in 1860) engraved by James Scott after an original painting by James Eckford Lauder (1811-1869). Watt (1736-1819) was a Scottish engineer and instrument maker who invented the modern steam engine which became the main source of power in Britain's textile mills. His engine had a separate condenser in which steam from the cylinder was pased and cooled allowing the engine to be kept hot, reducing fuel consumption and saving time.