A biography of james watt a scottish inventor and mechanical engineer

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A biography of james watt a scottish inventor and mechanical engineer

While working as an instrument maker at the University of Glasgow, Watt became interested in the technology of steam engines. He realised that contemporary engine designs wasted a great deal of energy by repeatedly cooling and re-heating the cylinder.

James Watt biography, Biography

Watt introduced a design enhancement, the separate condenser, which avoided this waste of energy and radically improved the power, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of steam engines.

Eventually he adapted his engine to produce rotary motion, greatly broadening its use beyond pumping water. Watt attempted to commercialise his invention, but experienced great financial difficulties until he entered a partnership with Matthew Boulton in The new firm of Boulton and Watt was eventually highly successful and Watt became a wealthy man.

In his retirement, Watt continued to develop new inventions though none were as significant as his steam engine work.

Education and training

He died in at the age of Watt has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history. He developed the concept of horsepower and the SI unit of power, the watt, was named after him. His father was a shipwright, ship owner and contractor, and served as the town's chief baillie, while his mother, Agnes Muirhead, came from a distinguished family and was well educated.

Both were Presbyterians and strong Covenanters. Watt's grandfather, Thomas Watt, was a mathematics teacher and baillie to the Baron of Cartsburn. Despite being raised by religious parents, he later on became a deist. Watt did not attend school regularly; initially he was mostly schooled at home by his mother but later he attended Greenock Grammar School.

He exhibited great manual dexterity, engineering skills and an aptitude for mathematics, while Latin and Greek failed to interest him.

When he was eighteen, his mother died and his father's health began to fail.

A biography of james watt a scottish inventor and mechanical engineer

Watt travelled to London to study instrument-making for a year, then returned to Scotland, settling in the major commercial city of Glasgow intent on setting up his own instrument-making business.

He made and repaired brass reflecting quadrants, parallel rulers, scales, parts for telescopes, and barometers, among other things.

Later years

Because he had not served at least seven years as an apprentice, the Glasgow Guild of Hammermen which had jurisdiction over any artisans using hammers blocked his application, despite there being no other mathematical instrument makers in Scotland.

Watt was saved from this impasse by the arrival of astronomical instruments to the University of Glasgow that required expert attention. Marshall Chapter 3 Watt restored them to working order and was remunerated. These instruments were eventually installed in the Macfarlane Observatory.

Subsequently three professors offered him the opportunity to set up a small workshop within the university.

It was initiated in and two of the professors, the physicist and chemist Joseph Black as well as the famed Adam Smith, became Watt's friends.

At first he worked on maintaining and repairing scientific instruments used in the university, helping with demonstrations, and expanding the production of quadrants.

In he formed a partnership with John Craig, an architect and businessman, to manufacture and sell a line of products including musical instruments and toys.

This partnership lasted for the next six years, and employed up to sixteen workers. Craig died in One employee, Alex Gardner, eventually took over the business, which lasted into the twentieth century. Hills, vol I, pages InWatt married his cousin Margaret Peggy Miller, with whom he had five children, two of whom lived to adulthood: His wife died in childbirth in In he was married again, to Ann MacGregor, daughter of a Glasgow dye-maker, with whom he had two children: Gregory —who became a geologist and mineralogist, and Janet — Ann died in Between and he lived in Regent Place, Birmingham.James Watt was a Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer and chemist most famous for his work on the world's first modern steam engine.

He would modify the Newcomen steam engine to improve its.

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James Watt was a Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer, known for his improvements of the steam engine. Watt was born on January 19, , in . James Watt (30 January (19 January OS) – 25 August ) was a Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist who improved on Thomas Newcomen's Newcomen steam engine with his Watt steam engine in , which was fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.

James Watt was born in Greenock in , the son of a ship's chandler (trader in canvas, etc). Watt had little formal education due to poor health in his youth, but pottering about in his father's shop he developed an interest in trying to make things "work clockwork".

James Watt FRS FRSE (/ w ɒ t /; 30 January (19 January OS) – 25 August ) was a Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist who improved on Thomas Newcomen's Newcomen steam engine with his Watt steam engine in , which was fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.

James Watt was an inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements in steam engine technology drove the Industrial Revolution.

Watt did not invent the steam engine. Steam engines were already in existence, mainly being used to pump water out of mines.

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