Box labelled: “Flute tools and valves of circular engine”

Watt, James

1 Box labelled: “Flute tools and valves of circular engine” containing 13 Tools with lead round shank

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.

The phrase 'valves of the cirulcar engine' may well be a reference to the small model rotary engine also present in the workshop, what we should properly describe as a positive displacement engine, but which if it had been made to work would have avoided the considerable complexities of Watt's full-size beam engine, and developed by Watt c.1784.


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