Britain Shaped the Manufacturing World in many and connected ways. The steam engine was probably the most significant invention of the industrial revolution. Like the inventions that mechanised textiles, it came about through a creative evolution. I might place Newcomen first with his atmospheric engine to drain coalmines, but then William Brown, James Watt, Richard Trevithick, John Blenkinsop, George Stephenson, Timothy Hackworth and many more who work on engines in collieries and railway works.
Yet the revolution would have come to nothing without salesmen. Joseph Ruston was not only a brilliant engineer, he was also a man who took advantage of opportunities. He was asked to visit Russia who needed steam pumps to drain land for cereals. When he was there, he heard that oil was being extracted and travelled on to sell his pumps for oil production.
Entrepreneurs hold the key to the growth of British manufacturing. It was the textile merchants of Manchester who created the manufacture of cotton textiles in Lancashire. They had previously imported from countries where cotton is grown. It was at first a cottage industry but with pressure on prices mechanisation came in. Famously Arkwright built the first factory.
Perhaps the ultimate steam engine was the Flying Scotsman. You can read more about the place of steam in the history of British Manufacturing in my book, How Britain Shaped the Manufacturing World.