William Murdock
(1754-1839)

Died aged c. 85

William Murdoch (sometimes spelled Murdock) (21 August 1754 – 15 November 1839) was a Scottish engineer and inventor. Murdoch was employed by the firm of Boulton & Watt and worked for them in Cornwall, as a steam engine erector for ten years, spending most of the rest of his life in Birmingham, England. Murdoch was the inventor of the oscillating cylinder steam engine, and gas lighting is attributed to him in the early 1790s, as well as the term "gasometer". However, Archibald Cochrane, 9th Earl of Dundonald had already in 1789 used gas for lighting his family estate. Murdoch also made innovations to the steam engine, including the sun and planet gear and D slide valve. He invented the steam gun and the pneumatic tube message system, and worked on one of the first British paddle steamers to cross the English Channel. Murdoch built a prototype steam locomotive in 1784 and made a number of discoveries in chemistry. Murdoch remained an employee and later a partner of Boulton & Watt until the 1830s, and his reputation as an inventor has been obscured by the reputations of Matthew Boulton and James Watt and the firm they founded.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

William Murdock lived in this house 1782-1798 made the first locomotive here and tested it in 1784, invented gas-lighting and used it in this house in 1792

Murdoch House, Cross Street, Redruth, United Kingdom where they lived , made the first locomotive , invented gas-lighting , and first used gas-lighting

In this house dwelt William Murdock in the year 1817. He made the first locomotive and was the inventor and pioneer of gas lighting. Born 1754 - died 1839.

William Murdock's cottage, Foundry Lane, B66 2LP, Smethwick, United Kingdom where they lived (1817)