Iron bearing bracket

Watt, James

1 Iron bearing bracket two screw holes

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.

This is a machine component: a heavy iron forging, with a flat base and countersunk holes at each end, suggesting that it was to be fixed by screws to woodwork, between which there are two upstanding horns with a rounded notch between. Holes through the two horns, in line, suggest that a pin was to be inserted to retain something in the notch. This appears to have been intended as a journal bearing. Maybe it was associated with Watt's sculpture copying machines, also present in the workshop.


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