Watt, Sir George (1851-1930)

Sir George Watt, 1851-1930. Sir George Watt, 1851-1930.

Sir George Watt (1851-1930) was a Scottish born botanist who provided very detailed information about Indian plants, as well as the Indian industries that used the plants (and other materials). Sir George Watt was born in Aberdeen and then went to the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow. He graduated as a doctor of medicine. In 1873-4 he became Professor of Botany at Calcutta University.

During his career in India, he was appointed to various important governmental posts, including Scientific Assistant Secretary, Government of India (1881), Reporter to Government of India on Economic Products (1887-1903), Director of the Indian Art Exhibition, Delhi (1902-1903), and so forth.

He published much of his research in a multi-volume series entitled Dictionary of the Commercial Products of India (1889-1890), in which he described many different industries, not all of which were based on plant forms. As part of his work for the Indian Art Exhibition, Watt produced a catalogue of the objects on display with a discussion concerning where, how and by whom the various groups of objects were made. The catalogue was called Indian Art at Delhi 1903: Being the Official Catalogue of the Delhi Exhibition 1902-1903. There are numerous pages dedicated to the range of Indian textiles available at the turn of the century, including decorative needlework forms.

Watt was knighted in 1903, following his work in creating and running the Indian Art Exhibition. He retired in 1906. In 1907, however, he published a monograph entitled Wild and Cultivated Cotton Plants of the World: A Revision of the Genus Gossypium (London: Longman, Green and Co.). He continued his work on various botanical and Indian subjects until his death in 1930.


Digital source of illustration (retrieved 25th June 2016).


Last modified on Tuesday, 02 May 2017 16:07