One packet, 'experiment paper on copying', from James Watt's workshop

Made:
1780
maker:
James Watt
1 Packet Experiment paper on copying.  Front view of whole object against graduated grey background. 1 Packet Experiment paper on copying.  Overhead view of whole object against dark grey background.

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1 Packet Experiment paper on copying. Front view of whole object against graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

1 Packet Experiment paper on copying. Overhead view of whole object against dark grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

1 Packet ‘Experiment paper on copying’

This item is part of the contents of the workshop that Scottish engineer James Watt developed at his home, Heathfield, at Handsworth, Birmingham. Although Watt is best known for his work on the steam engine, his workshop contains a wide variety of objects from many different projects, from chemistry to sculpture-copying.

The description of the item was written by Edward Collins, the land agent responsible for Heathfield when the workshop was given to the Science Museum in 1924. Collins could not always identify what he was looking at, but always described what he saw clearly. This has allowed his descriptions to form the basis of subsequent research.

the item comprises a loosely tied bundle, in a paper wrapper endorsed, in very small handwriting: ‘Experiment paper on copying’. The contents seem to be small slips of unsized paper on which copy-impressions have been taken. The changing details noted on each slip suggest that they were experiments in the paper and ink ingredients used in the process of letter-copying developed by Watt.

Details

Category:
James Watt's Garret Workshop
Object Number:
1924-792/12
Materials:
ink and paper (fibre product)
type:
packet
credit:
Major J.M. Gibson-Watt