Matthew Boulton, English engineer and industrialist, c 1801.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by William Sharp after an original oil painting of 1801 by William Beechey. Works owner Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) and Scottish engineeer and inventor, James Watt (1736-1819) formed a partnership in 1773 to produce steam engines. Boulton's factory at Soho, near Birmingham, produced the first of the revolutionary steam engines designed by Watt. By the early 19th century over 500 Boulton and Watt engines were being used in Britain's mines and factories.