Paper packet of Manganese, tied with string

Made:
1790-1819 in United Kingdom
maker:
James Watt

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Group of objects from Watt Workshop. White ceramic jar with leather lid; labelled; Smyrna Lizari; (1924-792/1479); rear
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Group of objects from Watt Workshop. White ceramic jar with leather lid, labelled "Smyrna Lizari" (1924-792/1479),
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Group of objects from Watt Workshop. White ceramic jar with leather lid, labelled "Smyrna Lizari" (1924-792/1479),
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Paper packet of Manganese, tied with string, James Watt, United Kingdom, 1790-1819. Overhead detail view of object
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Paper packet of Manganese, tied with string, James Watt, United Kingdom, 1790-1819. Overhead view of whole object
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Paper packet of Manganese, tied with string, James Watt, United Kingdom, 1790-1819. Front 3/4 view of whole object
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Paper packet of Manganese, tied with string, James Watt, United Kingdom, 1790-1819. Front view of whole object against
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

1 Packet, Manganese

James Watt was a business partner in the Delftfield Pottery, Glasgow, and carried out many experiments to improve the quality of the pottery's products. This particular box comes from a drawer labelled ‘Drugs for pottery’ – ingredients Watt was testing to try and improve the clay body or the glazes of his pots.

This item is part of a broad group of substances which Watt collected and stored in his workshop. They comprise different quantities, each individually placed in a packet or box, and usually labelled in Watt’s hand. The substances reflect Watt’s very wide chemical interests, from making the ink for his letter-copying presses, to ceramic glazes and dyestuffs (Turkey red, for example), then latterly chemical compositions to protect the surfaces of plaster casts while they were used in the workshop’s sculpture copying machines, and even the ingredients of the plaster casts themselves. It is also possible that Watt kept some substances for their medicinal qualities, relating both to his interest in pneumatic medicine, and the need to keep his family in good health.

On display

Science Museum: Energy Hall: James Watt and our World

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Details

Category:
James Watt's Garret Workshop
Object Number:
1924-792/959
Materials:
manganese, paper and string
type:
packet
taxonomy:
  • materials
  • materials
  • inorganic material
  • metal
  • nonferrous metal
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
credit:
Major J.M. Gibson-Watt

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