Turning tool and two fine blades

Made:
1758-1769
maker:
Unknown

3 Small cutters wood handles

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.

This is a brass cutting gauge, not a proprietary article, probably for making longitudinal rulings on scales and other instruments in brass or hard wood. This latter part of the identification suggests that the item may date from Watt's earlier career, when he was working as an instrument maker in Glasgow.

These items comprise a small turning tool, in a turned wooden handle, and two very small, fine steel blades set in facetted wooden handles. Probably these were intended for ruling lines on brass or wooden instruments. This latter part of the identifification suggests that the item may date from Watt's earlier career, when he was working as an instrument maker in Glasgow.

Details

Category:
James Watt's Garret Workshop
Object Number:
1924-792/401
Materials:
steel (metal) and wood (unidentified)
type:
cutter
credit:
Major J.M. Gibson-Watt