The original oscillating paddle engine, 1827.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Paddle boat engine designed to the patent of English engineer and inventor Henry Maudslay (1771-1831). After working in London's Woolwich Arsenal as a skilled blacksmith and toolmaker, Maudslay joined the locksmith, Joseph Bramah, and became his head foreman. By 1797, Maudslay had started his own busines producing machine tools, and developed two significant tools - a highly accurate screw-cutting lathe and the slide rest lathe. Both were used to develop other precision tools, in particular the machinery used in the production of ships blocks. In 1810, he moved his works to Lambeth, starting the firm of Maudslay, Sons and Field with Joshua Field (1757-1863).