Watt's The Story

portrait painting of james watt with text: 25 august is #GoIndustrial Day

On 25th August 2019 we will celebrate the life of James Watt on our third #GoIndustrial Day.

2019 marks 250 years since the patent of one of James Watt's most famous inventions – the separate condenser – and 200 years since his death on 25th August. It seems fitting that #GoIndustrial should commemorate Watt, whose success was so great that a unit of power was named a Watt in his honour. As well as events in our venues across Scotland, we'll be on social media too - find out more below.

James Watt was a Scottish engineer and inventor who changed the world. Watt’s improvements to the steam engine drove the Industrial Revolution. In 1769 he patented the separate condenser, a method of lessening the consumption of steam in steam engines. The Boulton & Watt steam engine would go on to be a driving force in the industrial revolution.

Watt also patented:

  • An early copying machine 
  • A new method to produce a continued rotation motion – find out more about how to B&W engine worked (see link below)
  • New improvements upon steam engines (twice!)
  • New improvements of constructing furnaces

Find out more about how the Boulton & Watt steam engine worked in this short film from National Museums Scotland.

#GoIndustrial will celebrate the life of James Watt on 25th August!

In our venues

You can do the #GoIndustrial trail at Verant Works and Discovery Point on #GoIndustrial Day!

On social

Our venues will all be live streaming throughout the day - follow #GoIndustrial on Twitter and Facebook to catch them all!


Scottish Maritime Museum


At 11am Morag the Coo will take you on a virtual tour at Almond Valley


Auchindrain Township


The Museum of the Scottish Railways will say #TootToot with the power of steam


Scottish Fisheries Museum


Museum of Lead Mining


Museum of Scottish Lighthouses


At National Mining Museum Scotland the Junior Miner Experience will be making some noise!


Verdant Works will have a steam and mill-inspired performance from Quire with a Q


New Lanark


Summerlee Museum


Discovery Point