Box no lid, containing:
- Watt, James
1 Box no lid containing 14 Long glass tubes, 2 Short glass tubes, large bore, 1 Short glass tube small bore, 1 Curved tube with ball at end, ball broken, 2 Do Short, 60 Long and short lengths of glass tubes, 1 Piece of tube curved, 2 Pieces of tube V shaped, 3 Long pieces of tube, one end curved, 1 Piece of tube bent on end, 1 Long piece of tube, zig zag on end, 1 Long piece of tube, bulb on end, sealing wax the other, 1 Long piece of tube, double bent and bulb one end, 1 Piece of tube, bulb off, in paper, 6 Thermometer glasses, in paper, 1 Thermometer glass, with sealing wax on one end, 1 Thermometer glass, with piece of paper tied round labelled: “The longest mark is the freezing point”, 1 Double piece of ther. glass with bulb at top and extended piece of tube, 1 Pear shaped bulb, curved tube at top and straight piece of tube at bottom, broken, 3 Broken pieces of tube, 3 Pieces of wood on box serving as lid
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.