British Banknotes 50 Pound Sterling note 2011 Matthew Boulton and James Watt
Bank of England
Obverse: Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at right. On patterned background is a building of Bank of England. In lower left corner is a Bank seal with sitting Britannia (as logo of Bank of England). Denominations in numerals are in top corners. In center in words. Many denominations in numerals are in lower right corner. Signatures: Chris Salmon, Chief Cashier of the Bank of England.
Reverse: Portraits of Matthew Boulton 1728-1809 with an inscription: "I sell here, Sir, what all the world desires to have - POWER" and James Watt 1736-1819 with an inscription: "I can think of nothing else but this mashine". Engraving of a 1784 steam engine designed by Boulton and Watt & view of Matthew Boulton's Soho Manufactory 1781, shows the carriages of some of its visitors. Eventually, Boulton stopped admitting visitors, as spies stole his ideas.
Matthew Boulton and James Watt were responsible for accelerating the progress of manufacturing steam engines during the 18th and 19th centuries. Their inventions and improvements to this technology made a significant contribution to the progress of the Industrial Revolution.
In 1775 Boulton and Watt entered a partnership to develop and market steam engines. Initially these were for use in the mining and textile industries before they extended the innovation to benefit a wider range of industries in the UK and worldwide. Boulton and Watt were members of the Lunar Society, which helped to foster links between philosophy, arts, science and commerce.
Watermark - hold the £50 note up to the light and you will see an image of the Queen's portrait together with a bright £50.
Denomination numeral - there is a large number 50 and £ symbol in the top left corner on the front of the note to assist easy recognition of its value; this negates the need for a specific symbol for the partially sighted. There is also a slightly smaller number 50 in the top and bottom right corners.
See-through register - hold the £50 note up to the light and you will see coloured irregular shapes printed on the front and back that combine to form the £ symbol.
Metallic thread - the thread is embedded in the paper in every banknote. If you hold the note up to the light, the metallic thread appears as a continuous dark line.
Ultra-violet feature - if you look at the front of the £50 note under a good quality ultra-violet light the number 50 appears in bright red and green. The five windows of the motion thread also appear in bright green. Randomly spread bright red and green flecks are also visible on both the front and back of the note. The remainder of the note appears dull in contrast.
Great Britain banknotes - Great Britain paper money
Series FIn preparation for the "E Series" of notes, issued by the Bank of England, photographs of The Queen were especially commissioned by the Bank. The photographs were taken by Don Ford in 1985-1986, one of the Bank’s technical photographers, under the direction of Roger Withington. Mr. Withington designed the notes of the "E Series" and prepared the engraving of the Queen, which appeared on this series of notes, from one of the photographs taken by Mr. Ford. The portrait shows Queen Elizabeth wearing Queen Mary’s "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" Tiara, Queen Alexandra’s cluster earrings and, although difficult to identify, Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee necklace.
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Matthew Boulton (3 September 1728 – 17 August 1809) was an English manufacturer and business partner of Scottish engineer James Watt. In the final quarter of the 18th century, the partnership installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, which were a great advance on the state of the art, making possible the mechanisation of factories and mills. Boulton applied modern techniques to the minting of coins, striking millions of pieces for Britain and other countries, and supplying the Royal Mint with up-to-date equipment.
Born in Birmingham, he was the son of a Birmingham manufacturer of small metal products who died when Boulton was 31. By then Boulton had managed the business for several years, and thereafter expanded it considerably, consolidating operations at the Soho Manufactory, built by him near Birmingham. At Soho, he adopted the latest techniques, branching into silver plate, ormolu and other decorative arts. He became associated with James Watt when Watt's business partner, John Roebuck, was unable to pay a debt to Boulton, who accepted Roebuck's share of Watt's patent as settlement. He then successfully lobbied Parliament to extend Watt's patent for an additional 17 years, enabling the firm to market Watt's steam engine. The firm installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines in Britain and abroad, initially in mines and then in factories.
Boulton was a key member of the Lunar Society, a group of Birmingham-area men prominent in the arts, sciences, and theology. Members included Watt, Erasmus Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood and Joseph Priestley. The Society met each month near the full moon. Members of the Society have been given credit for developing concepts and techniques in science, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport that laid the groundwork for the Industrial Revolution.
He became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1785 and established a theatre in Birmingham in 1807. By 1800, when Boulton’s son Matthew Robinson Boulton took over his father’s share of the business, almost 500 steam engines had been installed in the British Isles and abroad.
Boulton founded the Soho Mint, to which he soon adapted steam power. He sought to improve the poor state of Britain's coinage, and after several years of effort obtained a contract in 1797 to produce the first British copper coinage in a quarter century. He made large quantities of coins for the East India Company and also supplied machinery to the Royal Mint. His "cartwheel" pieces were well-designed and difficult to counterfeit, and included the first striking of the large copper British penny, which continued to be coined until decimalisation in 1971. He retired in 1800, though continuing to run his mint, and died in 1809.
The engraving on banknote is made after an engraving of Mattew Boulton by William Sharp after a portrait by William Beechey, XVIII century.
James Watt (30 January 1736 (19 January 1736 OS) – 25 August 1819) was a Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the Newcomen steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.
While working as an instrument maker at the University of Glasgow, Watt became interested in the technology of steam engines. He realised that contemporary engine designs wasted a great deal of energy by repeatedly cooling and reheating the cylinder. Watt introduced a design enhancement, the separate condenser, which avoided this waste of energy and radically improved the power, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of steam engines. Eventually he adapted his engine to produce rotary motion, greatly broadening its use beyond pumping water.
Watt attempted to commercialise his invention, but experienced great financial difficulties until he entered a partnership with Matthew Boulton in 1775. The new firm of Boulton and Watt was eventually highly successful and Watt became a wealthy man. In his retirement, Watt continued to develop new inventions though none was as significant as his steam engine work. He died in 1819 at the age of 83.
He developed the concept of horsepower, and the SI unit of power, the watt, was named after him.
The engraving on banknote is made after portrait of James Watt approximately 1788.
Watt steam engine
The Watt steam engine (alternatively known as the Boulton and Watt steam engine) was the first type of steam engine to make use of steam at a pressure just above atmospheric to drive the piston helped by a partial vacuum. Improving on the design of the 1712 Newcomen engine, the Watt steam engine, developed sporadically from 1763 to 1775, was the next great step in the development of the steam engine.
Watt's two most important improvements were the separate condenser and rotary motion. The separate condenser, located external to the cylinder, condensed steam without cooling the piston and cylinder walls as did the internal spray in Newcomen's engine, more than doubling Watt's engine's efficiency. Rotary motion was more suitable for industrial power than the oscillating beam of Newcomen's engine.
James Watt's design became synonymous with steam engines, due in no small part to his business partner, Matthew Boulton.
The Soho Manufactory
The factory built by Boulton in the rural surroundings of Soho two miles from the centre of Birmingham. In a world of small industrial units with a wasteful system of sub-contracting he created a factory in which all the processes were brought together. It was a model for other and later manufacturers. In 1776 when Dr Johnson's biographer, James Boswell, visited the factory Boulton had seven hundred employees. By 1778 he had his own steam-powered coining mill in which every process was automatic. He supplied the Bermudas, Sierra Leone, Madras, and even Revolutionary France with coins, and equipped the mints of Russia, Denmark and Spain.