Worked for Henry Maudslay (1829-1831) in Lambeth and then briefly for Joshua Field; 1831 - returned to Scotland; 1834 - set up own works in Dale Street, Manchester; 1836- moved and built new works at Patricroft, Manchester, beside the Bridgewater Canal, later known as the Bridgewater foundry; 1856 - retired; son of Alexander Nasmyth (1758–1840), an artist and portrait painter; James Nasmyth was a distinguished engineer, born in Edinburgh in 1808, the son of Alexander Nasmyth a noted painter and engineer. J.N. was Henry Maudslay's Personal assistantfrom 1829 until his death in 1831. From 1834 until his retirement in 1856 Nasmyth was in business as a mechanical engineer, maker of machine tools, steam hammers and shapers. In retirement he was noted for for the work on astronomy that he did until his death in1890.