It Started A Revolution

| January/February 1961

  • Famous old Watt steam engine
    Famous old Watt steam engine, built in 1799 in Birmingham, England.

  • Famous old Watt steam engine

The following is an article from the Pictorial Living Magazine from the May 29, 1960 Sunday Edition of Chicago's American Newspaper. It was sent to us by ESKET BAXTER, Creston, Illinois. We thank him.

Way back when, before educational television and before Karl Marx, a young Scot with almost no schooling helped to start a revolution.

His name was James Watt, and the revolution was an industrial one. With his invention of the steam engine and its gradual adoption, mechanical energy began replacing muscular energy.

Watt, 33 years old and in debt, patented his contraption in 1769. Despite the distance in time and space, one of his creations still lives and right here near Chicago.

The Watt engine, built in 1799 in Birmingham, England, for a textile mill, is now being displayed in the Hall of Progress, 254 N. Laurel Ave., Des Plaines. The engine operated in that mill and several other factories until 1945, which means it had a useful life of more than 145 years.

In a sense, of course, it's still useful, enabling school children, students and other interested persons to see a device that in this day and and age, is somewhat akin to a dinsaur.


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