James Watt (1736-1819)

Category: Statue

Used in the following map:

Glasgow George Square Art Trail

James Watt (1736-1819)

This statue of James Watt, situated on the SW corner of the square, was erected in 1832. It was produced by the sculptor and founder Sir Francis Chantrey (1789-1841) and shows Watt seated in an elaborate chair, wearing robes and working with papers and calipers. Watt, born in Greenock and educated at Glasgow University, was a great industrial inventor whose most famous invention was the steam engine. This was one of the most vital inventions of the Industrial Revolution, and was used to power all kinds of machinery, including trains, ships and steam-rollers. Without the power provided by this invention, Britain would not have been able to become a great manufacturer, nor would people have been able to make such long journeys across the sea to foreign lands. There are other memorials to Watt in Elmbank Street and Glasgow Green.