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Portrait of the Scottish engineer James Watt

Portrait of the Scottish engineer James Watt

H423/0179

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Credit

GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

James Watt. Portrait of the Scottish engineer and inventor James Watt (1736-1819). Watt made many improvements to the steam engine of his day. By 1790 the superior Watt steam engine had completely replaced the older Newcomen variety. His inventions included the double acting engine where the piston both pushes and pulls (1782); the centrifugal governor, a device that controlled a process through variations in the process itself (1788); and the pressure gauge (1790). Watt also coined the term "horsepower" to describe a unit of energy. Watt's innovations, coupled with the business acumen of his partner Matthew Boulton, made him rich. Artwork from an 1833/37 book.

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