5 Ivory scales, four plain, one divided broken, in packet
These items are 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.
Watt began his career working as a scientific instrument maker to the College of Glasgow. He made scientific instruments of many types in considerable quantities, and his workshop contains fragments of many, along with the feedstock such as these ivory scales, only one of which is divided with a scale. It is highly likely that Watt purchased the scales in bulk from specialist makers, which practice was typical in many areas of instrument making.
- James Watt's Garret Workshop
- Object Number:
- Major J.M. Gibson-Watt
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.