Joseph William Bazalgette, British civil engineer, c 1880s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving from the Illustrated London News after a photographic portrait. Bazalgette was appointed chief engineer to the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1856. At this time the Thames was grosly polluted and disease was at epidemic proportions so his first task was to devise a scheme for the drainage of London. Bazalgette designed and built the London sewerage system between 1858 and 1866. He also designed and built the Victoria, Albert and Chelsea Embankments. His work on London's bridges include Hammersmith, Putney and Battersea. Bazalgette was knighted in 1874.