James Watt's single-acting pumping engine, 1788.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
By adding a separate condenser to Thomas Newcomen's (1663-1729) engine design, Watt (1736-1818) produced the world's first efficient steam engine. Watt went into partnership with Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) of Soho in Birmingham to produce these engines which shaped the Industrial Revolution. Museum drawing.