Drawing, five views and key, of the equal size sculpture copying machine

Watt, James

Drawing. 5 views and key, of the equal size sculpture copying machine built by James Watt and present in his workshop, 1810.

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.

This drawing is one of a set made by Watt during his time in the workshop. They include detail from how to mount a diamond on the end of a wire, to designs for weighing machines, to the construction of the lathe bench present in the workshop. However, the majority concern Watt’s work on his sculpture copying machines, both resident in the workshop. They show how their design evolved over time, including details of framing, feed mechanisms, drill frames and more. These were Watt’s major project in the workshop, and provide us with dates for some of the component parts of the machines stored around the room.

The drawing is marked ''Leader', and shows the feed apparatus for the machine, now found on one of the workshop shelves together with the patterns for its castings. Dated Novr 1st 1810 JW some pencil alterations check against extant device This is a feed apparatus for one of the machines, designed to reverse itself automatically at the end of a preset travel. 21 7/8" x 9 ¼" , watermark J WHATMAN / 1805


James Watt's Garret Workshop
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