Steel screw, from James Watt's workshop

Watt, James

1 Steel screw

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 screw is of the same diameter and pitch as that of the linear dividing engine on the workshop bench, but it is shorter. It has a tapered square head at one end, suitable for holding it in a square-hole chuck for turning and for gripping in the vice or with a wrench in making the thread. The thread shows evidence of having been made using dies.


James Watt's Garret Workshop
Object Number:
Major J.M. Gibson-Watt