Science Art: The Englishman Watt wanted to make a steam engine…, 1873.

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Translation: The Englishman Watt wanted to make a steam engine. He spent so much time on it that he upset his aunt. Finally, however, he was successful.

From Public Domain Review‘s collection of prints of Western inventors, artists and scholars produced by the Japanese Department of Education.

In part, to demonstrate that if you want to invent a steam engine, you have to risk offending your relatives.

Nearly all the pictures seem to be of disasters striking Western visionaries, with a caption that explains how things ended happily. Poverty, fire, wrathful female relations… all will fall before the might of one’s inventiveness.

[source via Mr. Feerick]