James Watt, Scottish engineer , c 1800s.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm

James Watt, Scottish engineer , c 1800s.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Engraving taken from an oil painting by J G Gilbert of James Watt (1736-1819), 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.

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