Birmingham is a great city! Many great minds have developed this city and as a school community we pay tribute to those great minds by making them a part of our family.
Matthew Boulton was an English manufacturer and business partner of Scottish engineer James Watt. In the final quarter of the 18th century, the partnership installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, which were a great advance in technology making possible the mechanisation of factories and mills.
William Murdoch was employed by the firm of Boulton & Watt and worked for them in Cornwall, as a steam engine erector for ten years, spending most of the rest of his life in Birmingham, England.
Murdoch was the inventor of the oscillating cylinder steam engine, and gas lighting is attributed to him in the early 1790s. Murdoch also made innovations to the steam engine, including the sun and planet gear and D slide valve. He invented the steam gun and the pneumatic tube message system and worked on one of the first British paddle steamers to cross the English Channel. Murdoch built a prototype steam locomotive in 1784 and made a number of discoveries in chemistry. Murdoch remained an employee and later a partner of Boulton & Watt until the 1830s, and his reputation as an inventor has been obscured by the reputations of Matthew Boulton and James Watt and the firm they founded.


Now let’s see if you can remember anything about Boulton, Watt and Murdoch.

  1. What did Boulton and Watt invent?
  2. What was Boulton and Watt’s relationship?
  3. What city did Boulton and Watt work in?
  4. What century did the partnership start in?
  5. Where in the country did William Murdoch work for Boulton and Watt?
  6. What did Murdoch invent?
  7. Where did Murdoch spend the rest of his life?