How James Watt affected the economic growth of our nation


James Watt made many contributions to this country during the Industrial Revolution. He made numerous improvements on the Newcome steam engine, invented the term horse power, and designed the Sun and Planet wheel. He contributed most of his life to make others? lives easier and for them to prosper and grow.

In 1763 John Anderson asked Watt to repair one of his steam engines which was an early version of a Newcome steam engine. This engine wasted a lot of time and fuel so it was economically inefficient. The reasons for the inefficiency was the cylinder had to be heated when steam was admitted and then slowly cooled down again to condense the steam. This process wasted a lot of time, energy, and steam.

As he was wandering through Glasgow Green he struck upon an idea that would revolutionize the steam engine. This idea was ?that in order to make the best use of the steam it was necessary that first, that the cylinder should always remain as hot as the steam which entered it; secondly that when the steam was condensed, the water of which it is composed, and injection itself, should be cooled down to a 100 degrees, or lower where it is possible.? This method did not work at first, but in 1765 he discovered ?that if a communication were opened between a cylinder containing steam and another vessel, which was exhausted of air and other fluids, the steam, as an elastic fluid would immediately rush into the empty vessel, and continue to do so until it had established an equilibrium. If that vessel were kept dry and cool by an injection, or otherwise, more steam would continue to enter until the whole was condensed.? He fixed the problem of water and air coming out of the exhausted vessel by adding a pump to extract both air and water. This is Watt?s great contribution to the Newcome steam engine which would now run faster, cleaner, safer, and more economically efficient. This made the steam engine a useful economical source of power which for over a hundred years stayed exactly the same without alteration.

Watt charged his customers a price for using his steam engines. To justify this he compared his machine to a horse. Watt calculated that a horse exerted a pull of 180 lbs., therefore, when he made a machine, he described its power in relation to a horse. He worked out how much each company saved by using his machine rather than a team of horses. The company then had to pay him one third of this figure every year, for the next twenty-five years.

Watt still had many ideas to make more improvements on the engines he produced. He designed the Sun and Planet engine which referred to the gears in it. This invention was used for boring and turning. The Sun wheel was forty-eight inches wide, had thirty-six teeth, and had a pitch of about four inches. This wheel was rotated by a set of rings, which were three inches wide each. The outer ring was bolted to a disk at the end of the journal section in an iron shaft. The inner ring was bolted to the outer ring and rotated a disk on the Planet wheel.

The Planet wheel was twenty-four inches wide and was made of two toothed disks. They were separated by another disk of iron between the two rings of the Sun wheel. The inner disk is formed to receive one end of a link which at the other end is attached to the shaft. The outer disk was formed with a cross shaped part to receive a similar pull on the end of a connection rod.

The contributions Watt made to America during the Industrial Revolution were essential in starting it. For example, when Watt was wandering through Glasgow Green he came upon the idea of using less energy to create more power, and this marked the starting point of the revolution. His inventions created a need for steam engines because he made them faster, safer, cleaner, and more economically efficient. And in doing so made the revolution of industry grow tremendously because with a faster engine they could produce more goods in a shorter amount of time, and this made the country prosper. That is how James Watt increased the economic growth of