Tripod head, with brass thumb-screw

Watt, James

1 Tripod head, with brass thumb-screw

This item is part of the contents of the workshop that Scottish engineer James Watt developed at his home, Heathfield, at Handsworth, Birmingham, from c.1795 through to his death in 1819. 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.

Probably this tripod was meant for some light gentleman’s apparatus, such as some form of Watt’s apparatus for sketching in perspective or a portable sketching board. If that is the case, it may date from Watt's time as an instrument-maker based in Glasgow.


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