Historical eloge of James Watt, tr. with additional notes by J.P. Muirhead

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Page 172 - By his admirable contrivances it has become a thing stupendous alike for its force and its flexibility, for the prodigious power which it can exert, and the ease and precision and ductility with which it can be varied, distributed, and applied. The trunk of an elephant, that can pick up a pin, or rend an oak, is as nothing to it.
Page 31 - A Century of the Names and Scantlings of such Inventions as at present I can call to mind to have tried and perfected...
Page 174 - ... occupations, and probably is not generally known, that he was curiously learned in many branches of antiquity, metaphysics, medicine, and etymology, and perfectly at home in all the details of architecture, music, and law. He was well acquainted too with most of the modern languages, and familiar with their most recent literature. Nor was it at all extraordinary to hear the great mechanician and engineer detailing and expounding, for hours together, the metaphysical theories of the German logicians,...
Page 117 - ... up almost to the last moment of his existence, not only the full command of his extraordinary intellect, but all the alacrity of spirit, and the social gaiety which had illuminated his happiest days.
Page 156 - During the last summer also, a friend of mine gave some account of them to M. Lavoisier, as well as of the conclusion drawn from them, that dephlogisticated air is only water deprived of phlogiston ; but at that time so far was M. Lavoisier from thinking any such opinion warranted, that, till he was prevailed upon to repeat the experiment himself, he found some difficulty in believing that nearly the whole of the two airs could be converted into water.
Page 52 - informed that Mr. Newcomen was as early in his invention. " as Mr. Savery was in his, only the latter, being nearer the " Court, had obtained his Patent before the other knew it, on " which account Mr. Newcomen was glad to come in as a
Page 71 - My attention was first directed in the year 1759 to the subject of steam-engines, by the late Dr Robison himself, then a student in the University of Glasgow, and nearly of my own age. He at that time threw out an idea of applying the power of the steam-engine to the moving of wheel -carriages, and to other purposes, but the scheme was not matured, and was soon abandoned on his going abroad.
Page 231 - I have only now to return you my sincere thanks for the honour you have done me...
Page 155 - ... four-fifths of the common air employed ; so that as common air cannot be reduced to a much less bulk than that by any method of phlogistication, we may safely conclude, that when they are mixed in this proportion, and exploded, almost all the inflammable air, and about one-fifth part of the common air, lose their elasticity, and are condensed into the dew which lines the glass.
Page 122 - 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 belles-lettres all his life, — of science it is unnecessary to speak, it was his own distinguished walk.

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