Coronavirus (COVID-19) While museums are closed, the Science and Society Picture Library prints site is fully operational and we have added an FAQ page here.

Gun boring machinery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1813.

Warcup, W

Gun boring machinery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1813.
2 7 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 19cm


Ink and wash drawing by W Warcup of a plant containing a steam engine and gun boring machinery manufactured by Henry Maudslay & Co, for a client in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Boring cannon barrels increased the accuracy of the guns as well as making them safer to use. John Wilkinson (1728-1808) patented a method of boring a hole in a solid piece of cast iron in 1774. Previously, cannon were cast as a single piece with a hole already in the middle. This often resulted in imperfections which meant the cannon was likely to explode on firing, with dire consequences for anyone nearby. Henry Maudslay (1771-1831) was an English precision toolmaker and engineer who invented the metal lathe in 1797.

Image Details

Image Ref.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

buy a print

Select size
Select finish
How many prints?

buy a framed print

buy a canvas

buy a framed canvas