William Lester, British engineer, 1804.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by V Woodthorpe after a painting by Drummond, of Lester with a threshing machine. Andrew Meikle (1719-1811) patented the first succesful drum threshing machine in 1788, a machine which was capable of being driven by wind, water, horse and later steam power, and so revolutionised the harvesting of grain. Lester poses here with a drum threshing machine; steam threshers only started to be used from the 1850s.