Benjamin Baker, British civil engineer and designer of the Forth Bridge, c 1880.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Sir Benjamin Baker (1840-1907) first trained in a South Wales ironworks, and then in the engineering offices of Sir John Fowler. Fowler and Baker designed the Forth Bridge, and it was built by engineer Sir William Arrol. Building began in February 1883 and was completed seven years later. The bridge completed the east coast railway route between London and Aberdeen. It spans the Firth of Forth, joining the city of Edinburgh and Fife in Scotland. It contains almost 54,000 tons of steel and when completed, the 1.5 mile long bridge was the biggest in the world. It is the world's oldest cantilever railway bridge and remains in use to this day.