Clay pipe stamped “Henry Lyon”


1 Clay pipe stamped “Henry Lyon”, stem broken, bowl chipped

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.

Two pieces of a broken clay tobacco pipe. The larger, the bowl and part of the stem, which bears the stamp “HENRY LYON”, was found in this drawer. The smaller, another piece of stem which joins the first piece, was found in drawer 4 of the same cupboard. Probably part of the stem is lost. It may be that Watt had this article for use as laboratory or workshop apparatus, or it may be that he smoked tobacco. The stains show that this pipe was certainly smoked.


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