Book launch and signing

James Watt (1836-1819), transformed the steam engine – the most significant invention of the Industrial Revolution. Without Watt there would have been no locomotives, steam ships or factories where machines were energised by coal. Watt was, however, much more – a scientist who also conceived the concept of horse-power, made the first commercial copying machine and gave his name to a unit of power – the Watt.

James Watt Book
James Watt

We should not only celebrate him as a practically minded genius. He was shaped by friends and family and influenced by his Scottish and Midlands environment. Watt was fashioned by Enlightenment thinking, but his business interests were interconnected with transatlantic slavery and, in a revolutionary age, he was politically conservative. After his death Watt’s reputation was forged into a heroic embodiment of the modern age by those who came after him.

This fascinating, complicated and iconic figure is depicted and considered in 'The Power to Change the World: James Watt – A Life in 50 Objects'

Join us at this book launch in his home town of Greenock, in the Beacon Arts Centre from 11am on Saturday 1st June.   Places are limited and must be reserved through

Tea & Coffee will be served, then Dr Malcolm Dick, OBE, will give a short talk followed by questions and the signing

The book is available to pre order from and will be available to buy on the day. 



Places can be booked at





The Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock

Page last updated: 28 March 2019