Inherited his father’s silver-stamping and piercing plant at Birmingham (1759). Founded the Soho works which opened in 1762.
During Franklin’s visit to Birmingham, they conducted experiments on the Leyden bottle (1760).
Associated with James Watt in developing the steam engine.
Interested in the reform of copper coinage. Set up coining presses to be worked by steam (1788). Produced coins for the East India Company, various foreign governments, and established a new copper coinage for Great Britain.
Elected Fellow of the Royal Society (1785).
Married in 1760 to Anne Robinson.