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Watt And The Kettle

from True Stories Of Wonderful Deeds





There was once a little Scotch boy named James Watt. He was not a strong
child, and could not always run and play with other boys, but had often
to amuse himself at home. One holiday afternoon little James amused
himself in this way. He held a saucer over the stream of steam which
came from the spout of a boiling kettle, and as he watched he saw little
drops of water forming on the saucer. He thought this was very strange,
and wondered why it happened, for he did not know that steam is just
water changed in form by the heat, and that as soon as it touches
something cold it turns again into water. He asked his aunt to explain
it, but she only told him not to waste his time. If she could have
foreseen the work which her nephew would do when he became a man, she
would not have thought he was wasting his time.

When James Watt grew up, he was as much interested in steam and its
wonderful power, as he had been as a boy. He was sure it could be made
of great service to men. It was already used for driving engines, but
the engines were not good, and it cost much money to work them. Watt
thought they could be improved, but it was long before he found out the
way to do this. Often, he sat by the fire watching the lid of the kettle
as it was made to dance by the steam, and thinking of many plans; and at
last a happy thought came to him. His plan enabled great improvements to
be made in the working of engines, and now steam drives our trains and
ships, our mills and factories, and is one of our most useful servants.





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