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Watt, James

Greenock, UK

Heathfield, UK

Career: First contact with contemporary craftsmanship such as woodworking, metalworking, smithing, instrument making and model making in his father's shop; at the age of eighteen move to Glasgow to follow the career of scientific instrument maker; one year of apprenticeship in London; return to Glasgow; 1757 appointment as "mathematical instrument maker to the university"; acquaintance with John Robison and Joseph Black; 1765 invention of the separate condenser for the Newcomen engine which was patented in 1769; 1766 closing of his shop at the university and opening of a land surveying and civil engineering office in Glasgow; until 1774 civil engineer; move to Birmingham; 1800 retirement.
Selected works: Watt, James. 1784. Thoughts on the Constituent Parts of Water and of Dephlogisticated Air; With an Account of Some Experiments on That Subject; In a Letter From Mr. James Watt, Engineer, to Mr. De Luc, F.R.S. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 74: 329-353 Watt, James and Thomas Beddoes. 1794. Considerations on the Medicinal Use of Factitious Airs, and on the Manner of Obtaining Them in Large Quantities. Bristol Watt, James and Thomas Beddoes. 1796. Medical Cases and Speculations; Including Parts IV and V of Considerations on the Medicinal Powers, and the Production of Factitious Airs. Bristol Watt, James. 1784. On a New Method of Preparing a Test Liquor to Shew the Presence of Acids and Alkalies in Chemical Mixtures. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 74: 419-422 Watt, James. 1846. Correspondence of the Late James Watt on His Discovery of the Theory of the Composition of Water. Edited by James Patrick Muirhead. London
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Sources: DSB
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ISSN 1866-4784: reference - xlink