Bust of William Murdoch

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

Bust of William Murdoch

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

REDRUTH TOWN MUSEUM. William Murdoch came from Scotland to work in Redruth under Boulton and Watt. As well as Murdoch's bust, Redruth Museum also has a model of his road locomotive made by E.T. Newton & Son, Mathematical Engineers, Camborne.

Murdoch was resident in Cornwall in the years 1779-98 and married a Cornish mine captain's daughter. He was a steam engineer with wide interests including anti-fouling material for boat bottoms. He made many significant improvements to the efficiency of the steam engines used in Cornish mines. He also developed one of the first steam carriages or road locomotives in 1784 and tried it out in the driveway of Redruth Parsonage. He then made experiments with carbonized coal and piped gas to replace candlelight. Murdoch House in Redruth in 1792 was the first house in the world to be lit by gas.

There is a display about Gas at Charlestown Shipwreck Museum, because Murdoch's mother-in-law lived for a time in that port.

Photo: Bernie Pettersen

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Location
Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
70cm
W:
54cm
D:
27cm
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