Excerpts from Books & Articles on James WattÕs Engines


WattÕs contributions are considered to be the most important of all those who worked on the early stationary steam engines; as a result there are many publications dealing with his activities. Selected for inclusion herein are the following excerpts and articles:


Significant Scots, A Biography of James Watt, from www.electricscotland.com web site.  Both the personal and professional aspects of WattÕs life are covered in this concise biography.


Kelly, M., The Non Rotative Beam Engine, Chapter 3 The Boulton & Watt Engine  Contains descriptions and diagrams of the condensing steam engine and the giant (48-in. dia. piston) engine erected at the Chelsea Waterworks.


Thurston, Robert H., A History Of The Growth Of The Steam-Engine, Chapter 3, The Development of the Modern Steam-Engine. James Watt and His Contemporaries ,Appleton and Company,New York, 1878.  This publication gives more detail on WattÕs experiments which led to his patenting the condensing engine, for example. It also details his thoughts on the expansive power of steam. The section on contemporaries is of interst as it summarizes those who continued the development of what became to be known as Cornish engines (as most were installed in the mines in Cornwall).


Robinson, Eric and A. E. Musson, James Watt and the Steam Revolution,  Adams and Dart, London, 1969. This publication has an extensive listing of  WattÕs inventions. Excerpts detailing what are considered to be the three most important are excerpted here together with the original patent drawings.


Marshall, Thomas H. , James Watt, Leonard Parsons Ltd., and Printed in Great Britain by Morrison C Gibb Ltd., Ianfield, Edinburg, 1925. This is an un-illustrated monograph on the life of James Watt.

Further references not excerpted here:


Rolt, L. T. C., James Watt, 1963. This 150 page illustrated monograph contains a thorough history of WattsÕs accomplishments.


Smiles, Samuel, Lives of Boulton and Watt, 1865.  This classic 520 p. work is often referenced as the defining biography of these steam engine pioneers.



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Rev. March 2010