John Smeaton, English mechanical and civil engineer, c 1770.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Bromley after Brown of John Smeaton (1724-1792). In 1753, Smeaton was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society after presenting several papers on instruments and mechanical subjects. He designed the third Eddystone lighthouse (1756-1759) which remained in use until 1877, when it was rebuilt at Plymouth Hoe as a memorial. He improved Thomas Newcomen's (1663-1729) steam engine and was responsible for Ramsgate Harbour in Kent (1774) and the Forth and Clyde Canal in Scotland.