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James Watt was born January 17, 1736 in Greenock, Scotland. In his early life he loved to learn about mathematics in grammar school. Being a very fragile child, his mother homeschooled him in his earlier years. His father was a successful ship and house building business owner. One of the most important areas of his education was his father’s workshop where he learned how to build models and grew familiar with ships’ instruments. James decided at the age of 17 that he wanted to be a mathematical instrument maker. With this decision, James went to Glasgow where one of his mother’s relatives worked. Then in 1755, he went to London, where he started an internship.
During this apprenticeship James got very ill but continued to learn. He worked hard enough to work as well as most journeymen. When Watt returned back to Glasgow, he opened a shop in 1757 at the university and made mathematical instruments. Seven years later, Watt married his and she had six of his kids before she died 9 years later. Watts became intrigued by the amount of steam wasted while repairing a model Newcomen steam engine in 1764.
After s whole year of problem solving and complications, in May of 1765 Watt came up with the solution and his greatest invention—the separate condenser. He realized the loss of latent heat was the most horrible defect of the Newcomen engine and that therefore condensation must be effected in a chamber distinct from the cylinder but not connected to it. Shortly after this discovery he met John Roebuck who soon became his partner. They entered a partnership in 1768 after Watt had a little help of loans from Joseph Black. The following year Watt took out the famous patent for “A New Invented Method of Lessening the Consumption of Steam and Fuel in Fire Engines.”
After, Watt in 1766 became a land surveyor. For the following 8 years, he was continuously busy making out routes for canals in Scotland. This work prevented him from making any progress on the steam engine. After Roebuck went bankrupt in 1772, Watts became bored with surveying and with Scotland so he immigrated to Birmingham where he began a friendly interest with Matthew Boulton who was an English manufacturer and engineer in 1774. After Watt’s patent was extended by an act of Parliament, he and Boulton in 1775 started a partnership that lasted 25 years.
The Watt engine was a defining development of the industrial Revolution because of its rapid incorporation into many industries. With Watt’s contributions to science and industry, the watt, the unit of power in the International System Units equal to one joule of work performed per second was named after him. While many scientists argue that the design of the parallel motion in 1784 should serve as the starting point of the Anthropecene Epoch, the unofficial interval alter Earth’s surface, atmosphere, and oceans some still second guess. All in all, James Watt is considered one of the most influential instrument makers to both manufacturing and instrumental science.
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