The Age of Manufactures, 1700 - 1820
2nd ed, Routledge, 1994.
Overview of the technologies, processes and labour markets that underpinned the Industrial Revolution. Places the developments in steam technology in its wider socio-economic context.
Matthew Boulton: A Revolutionary Player
Malcolm Dick (ed).
Brewin Books, 2009.
Explores the life and work of Matthew Boulton, but includes chapters on Boulton's partnership with Watt and the application of steam power to the Soho business.
James Watt and the History of the Steam Engine
H. W. Dickinson and R. Jenkins.
Clarendon, 1927; repr. Ashbourne: Moorland, 1981.
An extensive work, which contains a detailed account of steam technology.
Dr Richard L. Hills
Landmark, 2002, 2005 and 2006.
Detailed and extensive three volume biography of Watt's life and work.
Vol 1: His Time in Scotland, 1736 - 1744
Vol 2: The Years of Toil, 1775 - 1785
Vol 3: Triumph through Adversity, 1785 - 1819
Industrial Enlightenment: Science, technology and culture in Birmingham and the West Midlands 1760 - 1820
Peter M. Jones.
Manchester University Press, 2008.
Looks at the role of scientific knowledge in the process of industrialisation and drawing on the archives of Matthew Boulton's Soho Manufactory.
A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727 - 1783
Oxford University Press, 1992.
General history of mid-eighteenth century England. Useful for the wider context of Watt's life and work.
Heroes of Invention: Technology, Liberalism and British Identity, 1750-1914
Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Explores the industrial revolution by looking at the heroic reputation inventors enjoyed during the nineteenth century, which included James Watt.
The Industrial Revolution in the Eighteenth Century: An outline of the beginnings of the modern factory system in England
Jonathan Cape, 1928; repr. Routledge, 2015.
A classic text examining the industrial revolution in detail. Includes a chapter on the steam engine.
Matthew Boulton: Selling What All the World Desires
Shena Mason (ed).
Yale University Press, 2009.
A lavishly illustrated publication with a chapter on Boulton and Watt's steam engine business at Soho.
James Watt: Chemist
David Philip Miller.
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009.
Considers Watt's innovations in steam technology in relation to his interest in chemistry.
The Enlightened Economy: Britain and the Industrial Revolution, 1700-1850
Penguin Books, 2011.
Looks at the intellectual context of the Industrial Revolution and Britain's part in it.
Iron, Steam and Money: The Making of the Industrial Revolution
A good general overview of the early industrial revolution and it's primary aspects, including invention, power, transport and money.
James Watt: Making the World Anew
Reaktion Books, 2014.
An excellent introduction to the life and work of James Watt.
The Lunar Men: The Friends who made the Future
Faber and Faber, 2002.
A wide-range and enjoyable account of the Lunar Society.