'John Scott Rusell', 1878.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photographic portrait of John Scott Rusell [1808-1882] taken by Samuel Robert Lock [1822-1881] and George Carpe Whitfield, in 1878. In 1834, John Scott Rusell made a highly significant scientific discovery. He watched a canal boat stop sharply, generating a single wave which travelled on without reducing in speed or losing strength. The 'solitary wave', or 'soliton', he observed is similar to those waves which today carry information along fibre optic cables, serving the internet and telecommunications industries. Rusell, an engineer and naval architect, was better known to his peers for his ship hull design, including Britain's first armoured warship 'Warrior'. He also studied the 'Doppler Shift' of sound frequency as a train pases. This Woodburytype is from 'Men of Mark', a series of books featuring prominent men of the time, published between 1876 and 1883. A brief biographical esay by Thompson Cooper accompanies each portrait. The Woodburytype was a photomech