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Model (detail), of a steam condensing engine, made by Samuel Clegg

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made in Manchester

Model (detail), of a steam condensing engine, made by Samuel Clegg
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This photograph shows a detail of the signature of the maker of a model of a steam engine. The model corresponds to designs dating from between about 1800 and 1805. The model itself, ordered in 1807, was at the University of Edinburgh' s natural philosophy class by 1833. A similar model is in the collection of the Manchester Literary & Philosophical Society.

The signature of the maker on a brass plate on the cylinder reads: 'CLEGG / David Street / MANCHESTER'. The inscription indicates that the model was constructed by Samuel Clegg (1781-1861), an engineer and inventor, who was apprenticed to Boulton & Watt of Birmingham, and later became a pioneer in the introduction of gas lighting.

Models of this sort were used in lecture demonstrations at the Scottish universities, to show students the latest technological developments, particularly as natural philosophy (what we would call physics) was a part of the general arts curriculum. In any case, engineering did not become a separate university discipline until the late 19th century.

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