MATTHEW BOULTON - selling what all the world desires
More than a few books have been written on James Watt, but this is one of the very few on Matthew Boulton, who went into partnership with Watt, funded him and gave the Industrial Revolution a might shove.
Boulton was an 18th-century designer, inventor, and industrialist, a consummate businessman, and co-founder of the influential Lunar Society. Published on the bicentenary of his death, this book surveys his life and extraordinarily varied achievements.
It explains how Boulton, a Birmingham ‘toy’-maker producing buttons, buckles, and silverware, went into business with James Watt and exported Boulton & Watt steam engines all over the world. Meanwhile his magnificent ormolu ornaments decorated aristocratic drawing rooms, and his determination to discourage counterfeiters led to a contract to manufacture British coinage and coins of other countries at his mint. Boulton was leader of the campaign to establish the Birmingham Assay Office (still the busiest in the country), and also at the heart of the Lunar Society, a group of prominent industrialists, natural philosophers, and intellectuals interested in scientific and social change. Known to Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood, and many others, Boulton was a fascinating man, Britain’s leading Enlightenment entrepreneur.
Boulton's partnership with Watt only gets a fairly short chapter here, the contibutors preferring to focus on the factory he established in the Birmingham district of Soho and its many and varied products, as well as other aspects of his business life.
Originally published in 2009 to accompany the Matthew Boulton Bicentenary Exhibition, half of this book's pages are a Catalogue of exhibits in the Exhibition, many illustrated in colour photographs.
Large format, 50 B&W and300 colour illustrations, 272 extremely well printed and presented pages. Hardbound.