Often declared as an apostle of capitalism, Smith showed no sign that he was aware (and nor I believe were his contemporaries) of the transformation of his fourth stage of commerce into a new, unanticipated, capitalist fifth stage, the first green shoots of which were then appearing timidly in England, less so in Scotland. In the next century the consequences of this phenomenon became known as the ‘Industrial Revolution’, which revolutionised the world of commerce as Smith envisaged it. James Watt, who worked away quietly in Glasgow University’s instrument workshop from 1756 to 1765, a few yards from Smith’s lecture rooms, had no notions of where his fastidious instrument repairing and innovative tinkering would lead him in coming decades.1
KeywordsFurnace Shipping Lution Lost Salon
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