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Science Museum

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Trace the remarkable story of steam and how it shaped the world we live in today.

Steam has been the driving force behind British industry for 300 years. Without it, the Industrial Revolution could never have happened. Even now, steam provides 75% of the electricity we use every day.

Discover an unparalleled collection of historic full-size engines and models. Displays include:

  • The oldest surviving and unaltered atmospheric engine
  • Rotative engines built by James Watt
  • High-pressure engines of the type pioneered by Richard Trevithick
  • A steam turbine designed and built by Charles Parsons

Planning a school visit? Find out more information about the gallery for educational groups.

Objects on display

James Watt and our World

Featured in the Energy Hall is the legendary attic workshop of engineer James Watt, preserved as it was when he died in 1819. The workshop is an astonishing time-capsule containing its original furniture, windows, doors and fireplace, and 8,430 fascinating objects left as they were in Watt’s lifetime.

James Watt workshop

Watt’s remarkable inventions that have shaped the way we live today and learn why he was heralded the ‘greatest benefactor of the human race’. From steam power to tea services, explore the relationship between Watt’s steam engine and a new age of consumption and discover his incredible legacy.