James Watt

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James Watt

James Watt was born January 19th,1736 at Greenock and at this time no one would even begin to imagine his effect on the Industrial Revolution. When James was fifteen years old he had read books about and become accustomed to Philosophy (kind of like modern physics). He had also completed many of his own chemical experiments and even started to produce and construct his own products such as a small electronic device that really surprised his friends.

In 1755 he set out on horseback and arrived in London after about two weeks. He tried to get a job in the instrumentation field although the shopkeepers could not give him a job as he did not do an apprenticeship and was too old. Finally though he found John Morgan of a company called Cornhill who agreed to bend the rules and offer an apprenticeship for a year. He stuck to it hard and wanted to learn everything he wanted in one year that would have normally taken three or four years for anyone else to learn. After about six weeks James learned that much he out done another apprentice who had been at Cornhill for two years.

The University of Glasgow then arranged for James Watt to set up shop inside one of their university buildings where he met his future long-life friends Dr. Joseph Black and Professor John Robison both planning to be chemists. His shop at the university did not sell many of his inventions mainly due to poor transportation. There was no trade link with the town of Glasgow and therefore Watt couldn't export his equipment and instruments. He then turned towards making musical instruments for a period of time, most likely to keep ahead financially. In 1763 though, he had the greatest influential experience in his whole life. The University of Glasgow asked James to repair one of Thomas Newcomen's steam engine models that was not functioning correctly.

It was at this time in James Watt's life that he began learning the principals behind the workings of a steam engine. He learnt...
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