Watt And The Kettle

: 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.