Record

Authorised form of nameWatt; James (1736 - 1819)
SurnameWatt
ForenamesJames
Dates1736 - 1819
NationalityBritish
Dates and placesBirth:
Greenock, South Clyde, Scotland (19 January 1736)
Death:
Heathfield, Birmingham (25 August 1819)
Burial:
St Mary's Church, Handsworth, Birmingham
ActivityResearch Field:
Chemistry, engineering
Career:
Apprenticed to an instrument maker in London; Mathematical instrument maker in London; set up in business in Glasgow; mathematical instrument maker to the University of Glasgow (1757-1763); employed on surveys of the Forth and Clyde Rivers (1767); patented his idea of a steam engine with a separate condenser (1769); entered partnership with Matthew Boulton, Soho, near Birmingham (1774)
Royal Society activityMembership:
Fellow
Election Date:
24/11/1785
RelationshipsFather of James Watt (FRS 1820)
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB
References:
Robert E Schofield, 'The Lunar Society of Birmingham; A Bicentenary Appraisal' in NR 1966 vol 21 pp 144-161
F F Cartwright, 'The Association of Thomas Beddoes, MD with James Watt, FRS' in NR 1967 vol 22 pp 131-143, plate
G L'E Turner, 'James Short, FRS, and his Contribution to the Construction of Reflecting Telescopes' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 91-108
Eric Robinson, 'James Watt, Engineer and Man of Science' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 221-232, plate
R V Jones, 'The "Plain Story" of James Watt: the Wilkins Lecture 1969' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 194-220, plate
Robert Fox, 'Watt's Expansive Principle in the Work of Sadi Carnot and Nicolas Clement' in NR 1969 vol 24 pp 233-253
David F Larder, 'An Unpublished Chemical Essay of James Watt' in NR 1970 vol 25 pp 193-210
W A Smeaton, 'Some Comments on James Watt's Published Account of His Work on Steam and Steam Engines' in NR 1971 vol 26 pp 35-42
Paul A Tunbridge, 'Jean Andre De Luc, FRS (1727-1817)' in NR 1971 vol 26 pp 15-33
Sir Kenneth Hutchison, 'The Royal Society and the Foundation of the British Gas Industry' in NR 1984-85 vol 39 pp 245-270
Jennifer S Pugh and John Hudson, 'The Chemical Work of James Watt, FRS' in NR 1985-86 vol 40 pp 41-52, plate
D G King-Hele, 'Erasmus Darwin, Man of Ideas and Inventor of Words' in NR 1988 vol 42 pp 149-180
Hugh S Torrens, 'First-Class Third Man?', review of John Griffiths, The Third Man - the Life and Times of William Murdoch (1754-1839) - the Inventor of Gas Lighting in NR 1994 vol 48 pp 161-163
A P Woolrich, 'Engineering Myths', review of Denis Smith, ed, Perceptions of Great Engineers: Fact and Fantasy in NR 1995 vol 49 pp 340-341
Desmond King-Hele, 'The 1997 Wilkins Lecture: Erasmus Darwin, the Lunaticks and Evolution' in NR 1998 vol 52 pp 153-180
R L Hills, 'John Watt's Map of the Clyde' in NR 1998 vol 52 pp 63-71
Desmond King-Hele, 'Erasmus Darwin's improved design for steering carriages - and cars' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 41-62, plate
R W Jones, 'Dalton's unfortunate choice' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 15-33
F C Moon, 'Robert Willis and Franz Reuleaux: pioneers in the theory of machines' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 209-230
B Marsden, 'From Watt to Cardwell. The development of science and technology in nineteenth century Britain: the importance of Manchester, by D Cardwell, ed R L Hills' in NR 2004 vol 58 pp 318-320
Royal Society codeNA8295
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
M/224Watt, James
CB/2/62Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to James Watt7 June 1787
CB/2/352Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to James Watt23 August 1787
CB/2/145Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to James Watt3 May 1788
S/0023Watt, James1843
CB/2/234Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to James Watt5 May 1789
CB/2/186Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to James Watt6 December 1788
CB/2/63Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to James Watt7 June 1787
NLB/57/357Copy letter from Robert William Frederick Harrison, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to the Director of the Science Museum [Sir Francis Grant Ogilvie CB]25 October 1919
L&P/8/73Letter, 'On phlogiston' from James Watt to Jean Andre De Luc21 April 1783
L&P/8/75Paper, 'On Priestley's and his own experiments on and views as to the nature of phlogiston' from James Watt to Jean Andre De Luc26 November 1784
L&P/8/78Letter, 'Sequel to the thought on the constituent parts of water' from James Watt to Jean Andre De Luc30 April 1784
L&P/8/74Letter, 'On phologiston [Second letter]' from James Watt to Jean Andre De Luc27 May 1784
L&P/8/85Letter, 'On litmus, red cabbage and other test liquors' from James Watt to Charles Blagden29 May 1784
L&P/11/66Paper, 'Description of an instrument for facilitating drawing in perspective' by William Stark, with covering letter from James Watt to Joseph Banks25 April 1798
L&P/11/66/1Paper, 'Description of an instrument for facilitating drawing in perspective' by William Stark, with covering letter from James Watt to Joseph Banks25 April 1798
L&P/12/50Paper, 'Experiments on gunpowder' by Benjamin Roebuck1803
EC/1785/10Watt, James: certificate of election to the Royal Society
MM/5/20Letter from Joseph Priestley, Birmingham, to Josiah Wedgwood8 November 1784
MM/5/38Copy of letter from James Watt, Birmingham, to Joseph Priestley26 April 1783
CB/1/6/201Letter from James Watt to Sir Joseph Banks, Soho Square, London1 March 1815
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