James Watt

1736 - 1819

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James Watt (; 30 January 1736 (19 January 1736 OS) – 25 August 1819) was a Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist who improved on Thomas Newcomen's 1712 Newcomen steam engine with his Watt steam engine in 1776, which was fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native country Great Britain, and the rest of the world. While working as an instrument maker at the University of Glasgow, Watt became interested in the technology of steam engines. At the time engineers such as John Smeaton were aware of the inefficiencies of Newcomen's engine and aimed to improve it. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of James Watt has received more than 3,940,589 page views. His biography is available in 138 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 132 in 2019). James Watt is the 5th most popular inventor, the 12th most popular biography from United Kingdom and the most popular British Inventor.

James watt is most famous for inventing the steam engine.

Memorability Metrics

  • 3.9M

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    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 138

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 20.04

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.86

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among inventors, James Watt ranks 5 out of 426Before him are Leonardo da Vinci, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and Johannes Gutenberg. After him are Elon Musk, Alexander Graham Bell, Karl Benz, Henry Ford, Guglielmo Marconi, Charles Babbage, and Louis Braille.

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Among people born in 1736, James Watt ranks 1After him are Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, Rama I, Jean Sylvain Bailly, James Macpherson, Claude Nicolas Ledoux, Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, Rudolf Erich Raspe, Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé, Princess Friederike of Brandenburg-Schwedt, and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. Among people deceased in 1819, James Watt ranks 1After him are Charles IV of Spain, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Maria Luisa of Parma, Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia, Kamehameha I, Daniel Rutherford, Catherine Pavlovna of Russia, August von Kotzebue, Erik Acharius, and Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier.

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In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, James Watt ranks 12 out of 8,785Before him are Lord Byron (1788), Charlie Chaplin (1889), Francis Bacon (1561), Elizabeth I of England (1533), John Locke (1632), and Winston Churchill (1874). After him are Richard III of England (1452), Paul McCartney (1942), Anthony Hopkins (1937), William IV of the United Kingdom (1765), Queen Victoria (1819), and Stephen Hawking (1942).

Among INVENTORS In United Kingdom

Among inventors born in United Kingdom, James Watt ranks 1After him are Alexander Graham Bell (1847), Charles Babbage (1791), George Stephenson (1781), Thomas Newcomen (1663), Richard Trevithick (1771), Frank Whittle (1907), John Logie Baird (1888), John Herschel (1792), John Boyd Dunlop (1840), Henry Fox Talbot (1800), and Thomas Savery (1650).