John Smeaton, English mechanical and civil engineer, c 1770s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by R Woodman after an original picture attributed to John Henry Mortimer, c 1770s. John Smeaton (1724-1792) was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in the 1750s after presenting several papers on instruments and mechanical subjects. In 1756-59 he built the third Eddystone lighthouse off Plymouth, which became the model for all subsequent rock lighthouses. The lighthouse remained in use until 1877, when it was rebuilt at Plymouth Hoe as a memorial. He also improved Thomas Newcomen's (1663-1729) steam engine, and was responsible for Ramsgate Harbour in Kent (1774) and the Forth and Clyde Canal in Scotland (1768-1790). Published by Charles Knight of London. Dimensions (overall): 360mm x 260mm.