Robert Stevenson, Scottish lighthouse engineer, c 1820s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Thomas Dick of Edinburgh, after a painting by John Syme RSA. Robert Stevenson (1772-1850) was responsible for designing 18 of Scotland's lighthouses between 1811 and 1833, including the Bell Rock Lighthouse, which was considered one of the engineering marvels of its time. He began a dynasty known as the 'Lighthouse Stevensons'. Between 1790 and 1940, eight members of the family planned, designed and built 97 lighthouses around the Scottish coast. Stevenson was additionally involved in bridge and canal building and harbour, road and railway construction. He was also the grandfather of the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894).