James Watt, Scottish engineer, c 1793.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Samuel William Reynolds after an oil painting by C F von Breda, painted in 1793 of James Watt, (1736-1819). Watt was a Scottish engineer and instrument maker who invented the modern steam engine which became the main source of power in the textile mills in Britain. His engine had a separate condenser through which steam from the cylinder was pased and cooled, allowing the engine to be kept hot. This reduced fuel consumption, saving time.