Tuesday, March 08, 2011

James Watt: A Scotsman as Britain's head of steam


When the Bank of England introduces its new £50 notes later this year, two men will appear on them: James Watt and his partner Matthew Boulton. It is an extraordinary honour – but then, Watt's was an extraordinary life. For many Britons, he was "the greatest benefactor of the human race", the man whose steam engines had powered the Industrial Revolution on which Britain's prosperity was built. When, on his death in 1819, he became the first engineer to be commemorated in Westminster Abbey, it was seen as a fitting reward to a man who was seen as equal, in his own way, to Newton, Archimedes or even Shakespeare.

Posted via email from poobumwee's posterous

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