William Symington, Scottish pioneer of steam navigation, C 1821-1831.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Chalk drawing by the Scottish photographic pioneer, David Octavius Hill (1802-1870) of William Symington (1764-1831). Symington constructed a model steam road carriage that was completed in 1786. He was then commissioned to make a series of boat engines by the Scottish entrepreneur Patrick Miller. When this venture failed, Symington started to build stationary engines. He built over 30 engines, about half of them were rotary.