It was on this date, January 19, 1736, that Scottish inventor James Watt was born in Greenock, the son of a merchant. After some education in London, Watt made his reputation as an engineer in Glasgow. He radically improved the steam engine of his day and made such important contributions to industrialization, including coinage of the term “horsepower,” that the Dictionary of National Biography says “his many and most valuable inventions must always place him among the leading benefactors of mankind.”…
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Ruskin never went to church, but he gave away most of his wealth in founding a charity called the Guild of St. George in the 1870s.