James Watt's workshop - Inventing the modern world

Explore the legendary attic workshop of James Watt as he left it on his death in 1819 with Ben Russell, Curator of Mechanical Engineering Science at the Science Museum, London UK.

This unique time capsule of more than 8400 objects brought from his home in Birmingham, throws a spotlight into Watt's life. He was much more than simply a brilliant engineer focussing on the development of the steam engine.

Here we learn that Watt applied his knowledge and skills to devise new technologies, to devising a copying machine to reproduce letters and sculptures, reminding us that Watt began his career as an instrument as an maker in Glasgow.

There are also many personal objects. In a corner, there is a trunk of books, drawings, paintings and writings of his son Gregory, who died in 1804 of tuberculosis.

In Birmingham, Watt, Lunar Society,


Ben Russell

Thanks to:

Science Museum Group, Mary Evans Picture Library