James Watt (1736-1819) engineer and scientist, was born in 1736 in Greenock, Renfrewshire. In 1769 he patented the improved steam engine which made possible the widespread use of steam power in manufacturing. Watt devised the original calculation to define 'horsepower' and the unit of electrical power was named after him.
In 1811 Watt was consulted by the Glasgow Water Company to advise on a means of conveying water from a peninsula across the Clyde to the company's engines at Dalmarnock, a task that was thought impossible because of the uneven and shifting river bed the pipes had to cross. Watt suggested a plan to use an articulated tube of iron, based on the tail of the lobster. The drawings that he presented were used to make and lay the piping. The project was a success and, as Watts refused payment for his assistance, the company instead presented him with the present soup tureen, then valued at 100 guineas.