Inside the Collection

Boulton and Watt

James Watt’s Bicentenary: the man and his machines

August 21, 2019

Sarah Reeves
25 August marks the 200th anniversary of the death of inventor James Watt. To mark the occasion, we have invited a guest post by Debbie Rudder, an expert on Watt, to explore his life and scientific contributions.

Josiah Wedgwood’s colourful chemistry experiments

February 22, 2011

Debbie Rudder
Josiah Wedgwood, who founded the Wedgwood company in 1759, carried out thousands of experiments to determine which chemicals and processes were needed to make porcelain-like ceramics in a range of colours.

James Watt and the problematic watt

January 18, 2010

Debbie Rudder
19th January is James Watt's birthday. Born in 1736, he is remembered mainly for improving the steam engine. This medal was minted in London in 1827 as one of a series celebrating great men. Watt is also celebrated by several statues and paintings, a university and a library, a shipping dock, at least two engineering awards, an Austrian coin and a (yet to be released) British banknote.

Meet the curator- Debbie Rudder

June 3, 2009

Debbie Rudder

My main research interests are: how our past use of energy informs present and future energy use; and the history and practice of innovation.

Matthew Boulton and the Imperial Bank Mint in St Petersburg

June 3, 2009

Debbie Rudder
At first glance, this drawing shows an old building holding a steam engine and other machinery. Then the eye focuses on the figures, men in formal eighteenth century Russian dress; perhaps they are there to provide scale, or to suggest that this is an important building holding important machinery.