Henry Maudslay, English engineer, 1827.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
After working in London's Woolwich Arsenal as a skilled blacksmith and toolmaker, Maudslay (1771-1831) joined the famous locksmith, Joselph Bramah, and quickly became his head foreman. By 1797 Maudslay had started his own busines producing machine tools and developed two extremely significant tools - a highly accurate screw-cutting lathe and the slide rest lathe. Both were used to develop other revolutionary precision tools, in particular the machinery used in the production of ships blocks. This brought him considerable fame and, in 1810, he moved his works to Lambeth, starting the firm of Maudslay, Sons and Field with Joshua Field to make machine tools and marine engines.