Bundle, cotton and linen rags, “Ink powder” written outside
- Watt, James
1 Bundle, cotton and linen rags, “Ink powder” written outside
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.
A paper wrapper, endorsed "Cotton & Linen Rags", also "Ink Powder", containing a loose mass: several small strips of rag, pieces of tape, wisps of cotton wool, what appears to be natural wool and other fibres. The mass also contains, presumably by accident, some wood shavings. One strip of rag is a piece of furnishing fabric with a printed design of a conventional flower between vertical borders, in brown, red, yellow, green and blue on a plain ground. Both endorsements appear to be in Watt's handwriting, the second indicating that the wrapper was reused.