Lithograph portrait on stone of Henry Maudslay, 1827.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Maudslay's portrait, with leather inking roller. Maudslay (1771-1831) was an English precision toolmaker who invented the metal lathe in 1797. He designed his lathe to cut screws accurately; before this screws were crudely made by hand. One of their industrial uses is precise measurement, and to give regular, controlled motion in machinery. Maudslay was introduced to engineer Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849) and as a mechanic helped Brunel develop block-making machinery which revolutionised the manufacture of ships' blocks for the Navy.