James Watt

Watt, James, 1736–1819, Scottish inventor. While working at the Univ. of Glasgow as an instrument maker, Watt was asked to repair a model of Thomas Newcomen's steam engine. He devised improvements that resulted in a new type of engine (patented 1769) with a separate condensing chamber, an air pump to bring steam into the chamber, and parts of the engine insulated. He also perfected a rotary engine. Matthew Boulton financed Watt's work and was his partner (1775–80) in manufacturing the engines at Soho near Birmingham. Watt coined the term horsepower. The watt, a unit of electrical power, was named for him.

See his correspondence, Partners in Science, ed. by E. H. Robinson and D. McKie (1970); study by E. H. Robinson and A. E. Musson (1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on James Watt from Fact Monster:

  • James Watt - Biography of James Watt, Improver -- not inventor -- of the steam engine
  • 1700–1799 (A.D.) World History - 1700–1799 (A.D.) World History Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) Frederick the Great ...
  • power, in physics - power power, in physics, time rate of doing work or of producing or expending energy. The unit of ...
  • John Roebuck - Roebuck, John Roebuck, John, 1718–94, English physician, chemist, and inventor. He acted as a ...
  • horsepower - horsepower horsepower, unit of power in the English system of units. It is equal to 33,000 ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Technology: Biographies

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe