Diagrams showing cros sections of: a new road with a paved foundation; a new road with a large cros drain; an unimproved old road; the same road when improved; the Highgate-Archway road in London; Embankment at the Stanley Sands near Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey. Also shown is the high water line of high spring tides. Thomas Telford's (1757-1834) Great Irish Road entered London through Highgate, and was used by the Royal Mail coaches carrying post between London and Dublin before the advent of the railways. Telford's road-building prowes earned him the punning nickname 'Colosus of Roads', given him by his friend the Poet Laureate Robert Southey. Illustration from Telford's 'Atlas to the Life of Thomas Telford, civil engineer', published in London in 1838.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library