ABOUT THIS BOOK
Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer James Watt (1736–1819) is best known for his pioneering work on the steam engine that became fundamental to the incredible changes and developments wrought by the Industrial Revolution. But in this new biography, Ben Russell tells a much bigger, richer story, peering over Watt’s shoulder to more fully explore the processes he used and how his ephemeral ideas were transformed into tangible artifacts. Over the course of the book, Russell reveals as much about the life of James Watt as he does a history of Britain’s early industrial transformation and the birth of professional engineering.
To record this fascinating narrative, Russell draws on a wide range of resources—from archival material to three-dimensional objects to scholarship in a diversity of fields from ceramics to antique machine-making. He explores Watt’s early years and interest in chemistry and examines Watt’s partnership with Matthew Boulton, with whom he would become a successful and wealthy man. In addition to discussing Watt’s work and incredible contributions that changed societies around the world, Russell looks at Britain’s early industrial transformation. Published in association with the Science Museum London, and with seventy illustrations, James Watt is not only an intriguing exploration of the engineer’s life, but also an illuminating journey into the broader practices of invention in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Published in association with the Science Museum, London