Sir William Cubitt, English civil engineer, c 1840.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph. Sir William Cubitt (1785-1861) invented the self-regulating windmill sails in 1807 and the treadmill in 1818. Cubitt constructed the Oxford canal, the Liverpool Junction canal, and docks at Cardiff and Middlesborough.He also engineered the South Eastern Railway and was consulting engineer to the Great Northern Railway and to the Boulogne and Amiens Railway. He was actively involved in the construction of the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition of 1851, and was knighted in recognition of this by Queen Victoria on 23 December 1851.