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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

ENGRAVING ON STEEL.
PORTRAIT OF JAMES WATT, DRAWN AND ENGRAVED BY EDWARD
FINDEN, FROM THE BUST BY SIR FRANCIS CHANTREY Frontispiece.

ENGRAVINGS ON COPPER.

168

THE

MEDAL OF MATTHEW BOULTON, BY PIDGEON; STRUCK AT THE

Soho MIXT: OBVERSE. LEGEND, “ MATTHAEUS BOULTON.” In-
SCRIPTION ON EDGE, “PATRIS AMICIS M. R. B. CI.II.CCC.XVIII."
ENGRAVED BY C. CHABOT

To face page
MEDAL OF

LATE SIR FRANCIS CHANTREY, R.A., BY W.
WYON : REVERSE ; STATUE OF JAMES Watt: LEGEND, “WATT.
“ FRANCISCI CHANTREY OPUS." ENGRAVED BY C. CHABOT.

To face page
MEDAL OF MATTHEW BOULTON, BY PIDGEON; STRUCK

SOHO MINT : REVERSE. INSCRIPTION, WITHIN A
LAUREL, “INVENTAS AUT QUI VITAM EXCOLUERE PER ARTIS.
ENGRAVED BY J. BATE

Tailpiece. To face page

522

AT THE

WREATH OF

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572

FAC-SIMILE WOODCUTS.

No.

52

2. EDGE VIEW OF DO. WITH SCALE

53

3. PAPIN'S CONTRIVANCE FOR PRODUCING

A VACUUM BY THE

CONDENSATION OF STEAM :-(FROM THE 'ACTA ERUDITORUM

"LIPSIE' FOR 1690)

138

4. 5. SQUARE PISTON; AND CIRCULAR Piston, PACKED WITH Rings

OF CLOTH

162

6 CIRCULAR PISTON, PACKED WITH COLLARS OF CLOTH

163

7. APPARATUS FOR DETERMINING THE PRESSURE AND CONSUMP-

TION OF STEAM

163

8. “TESTUDO " BOILER; THE GRATE FORMED OF HOLLOW TUBES

FILLED WITH WATER

. 164
277

Page

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20. A NEW EQUALISING BEAM, WITH SHIFTING GUDGEON

280

21. THE SAME, AT BEGINNING OF STROKE ..

280

22. ANOTHER NEW EQUALISING BEAM, WITH ROLLER WORKING ON

A CURVE

281

23. 24. Two OTHER NEW EQUALISING BEAMS

281

25. SKETCH OF THE FIRST IDEA OF THE PARALLEL MOTION

288

26. WORKING MODEL OF A LOCOMOTIVE STEAM-ENGINE MADE BY
MR. WILLIAM MURDOCK IN 1784

438

27. AXLE OF ROTATIVE MOVEMENT, AND OF STEAM-CARRIAGE 440

28. INSTRUMENT FOR MEASURING THE SPECIFIC GRAVITIES OF

LIQUIDS ..

.. 451

TYPOGRAPHICAL FACSIMILE.

ERRONEOUS TITLE-PAGE PREFIXED TO THE SEPARATE COPIES OF Mr.

CAVENDISH’s ‘ EXPERIMENTS ON Air,'(READ BEFORE THE ROYAL

SOCIETY, JANUARY 15, 1784)

To face page 334

LIFE OF WATT.

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION INVENTORS AND THEIR HISTORY LINEAGE OF JAMES WATT - HIS GREAT-GRANDFATHER HIS GRANDFATHER THOMAS WATT

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The fame of James Watt, great as it unquestionably became in the course of his long and honoured life, has increased since his death in a degree that may, perhaps, be termed unprecedented, being co-ordinate with nothing less than the unlimited development of his own manifold inventions. In the case of illustrious heroes and statesmen, poets, orators, or artists, who have attained the height of their glory in their own time, it often happens that when the excitement of contemporary interest, the influence of power, or the partiality of friendship is removed, the judgment which posterity pronounces on their achievements is a comparatively severe one. Such, however, has not been the case with the inventor of the modern steam-engine; and the renown of so great a promoter of the arts of civilization and the blessings of peace, elastic and expansive as that mighty agent which he first taught men truly to regulate and use, appears, with a steady progression, to have become as universally diffused as the all-pervading power of STEAM.

The respect which in all ages and countries has ever been paid to inventors seems, indeed, to rest on something more profound than mere gratitude for the benefits which they have been the means of conferring on mankind; and to imply, if it does not express, a consciousness that by the grand and original conceptions of their minds they approach somewhat

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more nearly than their fellows to the qualities and preeminence of a higher order of being. “The dignity," says Lord Bacon, "of this end of endowment of man's life with “new commodity appeareth by the estimation that antiquity “ made of such as guided thereunto; for whereas founders of

states, lawgivers, extirpators of tyrants, fathers of the people, “ were honoured but with the titles of demigods, inventors were ever consecrated

among the gods themselves. Of all the inventions which the ingenuity of man has devised, that of the modern steam-engine is, whether we regard its own mechanism and mode of performing its operations, or the operations themselves, perhaps the most wonderful, and certainly the most useful. “We must confess,” says Belidor, “ that this is the most marvellous of all machines, and that " there are none of which the mechanism has so much analogy " to that of animals. Heat is the principle of its motion ; in “ its different pipes there takes place a circulation like that of “ the blood in the veins, having valves which open and shut " themselves at right times; it feeds itself, performs its “ evacuations at regular intervals, and draws from its own “ work all that is needful for its subsistence.”+ So, Wordsworth and Coleridge, when on a tour in Scotland, “ passed,” says Dr. Wordsworth, “a steam-engine, and Wordsworth made

some observation to the effect that it was scarcely possible “ to divest oneself of the impression, on seeing it, that it had “ life and volition. 'Yes,' replied Coleridge, “it is a giant “ with one idea.'”+ Thus, the multiplication of diversified forms and effects which the living energies of machinery mysteriously call forth from shapeless, inert, and apparently inadequate materials,—the diminution of labour,the abridgment of time,—the annihilation of distance, which the skilful employment of steam enables us to attain, seem little less than emanations from the awful attribute of creative power; and strikingly exemplify that Divine omnipotence and

* Fragments of Valerius Terminus, on the Interpretation of Nature ;' Works of Bacon, by Basil Montagu, 1825, vol. i. p. 266.

+ Belidor, ‘Archit. Hydraul.,' vol. ii. pp. 324, 325, ed. 1739.

f Life of Wordsworth,' vol. ii. pp. 447, 448, ed. 1851.

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