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James Watt; powering canals and industry

  • Library of Birmingham Floor 4, Centenary Square Birmingham B1 2ND (map)
© Birmingham Museums Trust

© Birmingham Museums Trust

Jim Andrew will talk about how steam engines were first used for pumping water out of mines and up canals, although Watt soon developed engines to drive machinery in factories. In partnership with Matthew Boulton he designed nearly five hundred engines before 1800, many made in their works in Birmingham.

Jim Andrew is an engineer who joined Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry in 1974. He co-led the excavation of the Smethwick Engine, the world’s oldest working steam engine, now on display at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. His PhD research focussed on Boulton & Watt’s canal pumping engines and their effect on the canal system.

Cost: £5

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