James Bicheno Francis, English-American inventor, c 1880.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
James Bicheno Francis (1815-1892) emigrated to America from England in 1833 where he gained employment working in railroad construction. By 1837 he was the chief engineer to the 'Proprietors of the Locks and Canals on the Merrimack River'. Francis is remembered for inventing an inwardflow turbine and for the Francis formula for the flow of water over weirs.