Portion of engine counter

Made:
1790-1819
maker:
Watt, James

1 Portion of engine counter, 9” x 3”, brass with 3 cardboard dials on

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 counter was developed by Boulton and Watt to record the amount of work their engines did when built, commissioned and in service. It is an early example of the metering of power.

On display

Science Museum: Energy Hall: James Watt and our World

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.

Details

Category:
James Watt's Garret Workshop
Object Number:
1924-792/156
type:
counter
credit:
Major J.M. Gibson-Watt

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