John Ramsbottom, English railway engineer, c 1850.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Cabinet photograph of John Ramsbottom (1814-1897), English railway engineer and the inventor of the rolling mill, a machine or factory used for rolling metal. Ramsbottom coupled an engine to a rolling mill so that the rolls could run in either direction, and were able to change direction using a standard railway link reversing gear. He also had the idea of putting a water trough between the rails so that locomotives could replenish their tanks without having to stop.