glyph 23: james watt, andrew carnegie, biography, book, steam, industrial revolution, human virtue, scotland


James Watt, by Andrew Carnegie

published 1905

A biography of James Watt, an explorer of many things, and a great man. Among his many accomplishment was a great advance in the design and manufacture of steam engines.

This book is as much about the nature of human virtue as it is about technology and business, and provides much insight into the character of its author.

The final paragraphs:

There can be no question that we have for our example, in the man Watt, a nature cast in the finest mold, seemingly composed of every creature's best. Transcendent as were his abilities as inventor and discoverer, we are persuaded that our readers will feel that his qualities as a man in all the relations of life were not less so, nor less worthy of record. His supreme abilities we can neither acquire nor emulate. These are individual and ended with him. But his virtues and charms as our fellow-man still shine steadily upon our paths and will shine upon those of our successors for ages to come, we trust not without leading us and them to tread some part of the way toward the acquisition of such qualities as enabled the friend of James Watt to declare his belief that "a more excellent and amiable man in all the relations of life never existed." A nobler tribute was never paid by man to man, yet was it not undeserved.

So passes Jamie Watt, the man, from view--a man who attracted, delighted, impressed, instructed and made lifelong friends of his fellows, to a degree unsurpassed, perhaps unequalled.

John Lienhard's history of Carnegie's biography of Watt:

Carnegie Looks at Watt, Episode 1296 of "Engines of Our Ingenuity":

The Lunar Society, Episode 168 of "Engines of Our Ingenuity":

How a Pope Contributed to the Development of the Steam Engine

vortex Watt : tool making & tool makers
entered before July 9, 2006; edited/updated February 13, 2021

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