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

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made in Manchester

Postcard of Model (detail), of a steam condensing engine, made by Samuel Clegg.
© National Museums Scotland

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

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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Online ID: 000-180-000-915-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1999.350
Date: Around 1810
c. 1810
Material: metal, wood. Inscription: on boiler: 'CLEGG / David Street / Manchester'
Dimensions: 710 mm H (+ 140 mm hidden) x 765 mm L x 345 mm W
What: Engine, steam, condensing / model
Subject: 22. Physics and physical sciences
Who: Boulton and Watt (Apprentice masters)
Samuel Clegg, David Street, Manchester (Maker)
Where: England, Lancashire, Manchester
Description: Model of steam condensing engine, by Samuel Clegg of Manchester, c. 1810
  • Bennett, A.S. Samuel Clegg and Stonyhurst College. Manchester, 1986. 
  • Hatton, A.P., and J. W. Flowett. Clegg's Model of a Watt Beam Engine. Memoirs and Proceedings of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society 106 (1963-64), pp 104-107. 
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