Boulton and Watt Collection

Scope and Content

Mainly material (engine drawings) created by Boulton and Watt in the line of their business. All items were drawn by draughtsman, although some are later copies/fair copies.

Administrative / Biographical History

Matthew Boulton and James Watt initially entered business manufacturing and suppling Watt's improved Newcomen engine.

Boulton had obtained land in Soho, Handsworth which was to become the site of the Soho Manufacturory; firstly he made steam engines based on the designs of Thomas Savery; and from 1775 he went into partnership with Watt and produced his engine, this resulted in rotative engines being developed. From 1796 the Soho Foundry made all the elements of the engines, previously sub-contractors had been used to supply various components. Watt also retired the same year, although he remained a partner.


The series mainly consists of engine drawings, they have been arranged by client. All the drawings have been digitised and the images are attached to their records, as are some for items in BAW/7.

  • BAW/1: Grimshaw, Webster, Hills and Scarth
  • BAW/2: Illingworth
  • BAW/3: Lord Penrhyn engine
  • BAW/4: 'Caledonia'
  • BAW/5: Warwick and Birmingham Canal. Note: these are not by Boulton and Watt but were originally catalogued with the rest.
  • BAW/6: Bateman and Sherratt Company
  • BAW/7: Objects and prints
  • BAW/8: East London Water Works
  • BAW/9: Regulator Mill Company
  • BAW/10: Messrs Peels, Ainsworth and Company
  • BAW/11: Borough Water Works
  • BAW/12: Unidentified

Access Information

Open. We operate a booking system, 9.30-4.30 Mon-Fri. Please email us to make an appointment. Guidance on visiting us is available .

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Karyn French, Archivist, Mar 2018.

Related Material

See also, PER/54 Henry Wright, whose notebooks cover the period he worked for them and BUS/12 Coalbrookdale Company, items relating to supplying Boulton and Watt. Click for catalogue.