Bradford, West Yorkshire, 1869. Would industrial towns like this have grown up without Boulton and Watt's steam engine?
Image: Science Museum/SSPL

Power for production

The impact of Matthew Boulton's Soho Manufactory on commerce, industry and everyday life was considerable.

The Manufactory played a major part in the production of almost 500 steam engines prior to 1800 for industry across Britain. In 1776 Matthew Boulton accurately forecast the Soho Manufactory's future capabilities when he said:

'I sell here, Sir, what all the world desires to have... POWER.'