Johann Georg Bodmer, Swis engineer and inventor, c 1850s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Bellin after a photograph. Bodmer's (1786-1864) field was mechanical engineering. In 1824 Bodmer opened a factory at Bolton in Lancashire, to manufacture machinery that enabled a continuous wool manufacturing proces from carding through to spinning. Bodmer also improved the conveyor belt. His inventions covered a wide range of uses including textile machinery; machine tools; locomotives and steam engines; furnaces and boilers; screw propellers; firearms and armaments; spinning machines; and water wheels, as well as a travelling crane. Also among his achievements is the invention of the cylinder with opposed pistons for steam engines.