James Watt

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Doubleday, Page, 1905 - 241 pages

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Page 235 - ... instructive in no ordinary degree ; but it was, if possible, still more pleasing than wise, and had all the charms of familiarity, with all the substantial treasures of knowledge. No man could be more social in his spirit, less assuming or fastidious in his manners, or more kind and indulgent towards all who approached him. He rather liked to talk, at least in his latter years ; but though he took a considerable share of the conversation, he rarely suggested the topics on which it was to turn,...
Page 238 - ... the world the effects of which, extraordinary as they are, are perhaps only now beginning to be felt, was not only the most profound man of science, the most successful combiner of powers and calculator of numbers, as adapted to practical purposes, was not only one of the most generally well-informed, but one of the best and kindest of human beings.
Page 238 - His talents and fancy overflowed on every subject. One gentleman was a deep philologist — he talked with him on the origin of the alphabet as if he had been coeval with Cadmus ; another a celebrated critic — you would have said the old man had studied political economy and belleslettres all his life : of science it is unnecessary to speak ; it was his own distinguished walk.
Page 42 - Mr. Watt. I saw a workman, and expected no more ; but was surprised to find a philosopher, as young as myself, and always ready to instruct me. I had the vanity to think myself a pretty good proficient in my favourite study, and was rather mortified at finding Mr. Watt so much my superior.
Page 56 - I must get quit of the condensed steam and injection water, if I used a jet as in Newcomen's engine. Two ways of doing this occurred to me. First the water might be run off by a descending pipe, if an offlet could be got at the depth of 35 or 36 feet, and any air might be extracted by a small pump; the second was to make the pump large enough to extract both water and air. ... I had not walked further than the Golf-house when the whole thing was arranged in my mind.
Page 234 - Independently of his great attainments in mechanics, Mr. Watt was an extraordinary, and in many respects a wonderful man. Perhaps no individual in his age possessed so much and such varied and exact information, had read so much, or remembered what he had read so accurately and so well. He had infinite quickness of apprehension, a prodigious memory, and a certain rectifying and methodising power of understanding, which extracted something precious out of all that was presented to it.
Page 76 - I intend, in many cases, to employ the expansive force of steam to press on the pistons, or whatever may be used instead of them, in the same manner as the pressure of the atmosphere is now employed in common fire engines. In cases where cold water cannot be had in plenty, the engines may be wrought by this force of steam only...
Page 188 - Description and Draught of a new-invented MACHINE for carrying vessels or ships out of or into any harbour, port or river, against wind and tide, or in a calm...
Page 216 - That is the worst part of life, when its earlier path is trod. If my limbs get stiff, my walks are made shorter and my rides slower — if my eyes fail me, I can use glasses and a large print — if I get a little deaf, I comfort myself that, except in a few instances, I shall be no great loser by missing one full half of what is spoken ; but I feel the loneliness of age when my companions and friends are taken from me. The...
Page 235 - ... topics on which it was to turn, but readily and quietly took up whatever was presented by those around him, and astonished the idle and barren propounders of an ordinary theme, by the treasures which he drew from the mine they had unconsciously opened.

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