Excavation conducted by CFA Archaeology Ltd on the site of the athlete's village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games has identified a surviving section of articulated pipeline, designed by James Watt, the inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the Newcomen steam engine were fundamental to the Industrial revolution. The Athlete's Village will be constructed on the former site of the Glasgow Water Works at Dalmarnock, which was opened in 1809, and as such represents possibly the earliest attempt to have a complete municipal water supply anywhere in the world. Over the past two years, archaeological work has identified and recorded many elements of this complex.
The photograph above shows the end of a length of pipe emerging from the section. The 'eyelid-like' piece at the top of the pipe represents a surviving element of the articulated joint, while evidence of the timber frame that would have surrounded the pipe is also visible. The excavated elements accord well with the print of the Flexible Water Main Contrived by the Late James Watt shown in the illustration below, published in 1820 following Watt's death. It has been suggested that the design for this pipe was based on the tail of a lobster.