Feed screw from James Watt's workshop

James Watt

1 Long steel screw in square brass block with flat steel spring attached, and piece of square steel screwed to other end of spring, and screw in steel block

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 appears to be a feed-screw for an unidentified piece of apparatus, allowing one of its component parts to be moved very accurately. It is similar in conception to the feed mechanism used on Watt's equal-size sculpture copying machine, also present in the workshop.


James Watt's Garret Workshop
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy) and steel (metal)
Major J.M. Gibson-Watt