Remarkable Engineers: From Riquet to Shannon
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If you use '-' at the start of a word, that word will be absent in the search results. Harry -Potter Search results will not contain 'Potter'. If you use 'AND' between 2 words, then both those words will be present in the search results. If you use 'OR' between 2 single words, then either or both of those words will be present in the search results.
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This is the same as using the minus symbol. If you use double quotation marks around words, those words will be present in that order. Searches cannot start with a wildcard. The route chosen involved carrying the canal across the deep valley at a great height by means of an aqueduct. When the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was opened after ten years in , it carried the canal in a castiron trough upon stone piers over a length of 1, feet and at a height of feet above the river.
This is considered to be one of the great engineering achievements of all time. When the railways began to be built Jessop was heavily involved, and Jessop was also responsible for major works in the London docks and at Bristol.
He was also involved in drainage work in the Fens and in building bridges. In , the Jessop family moved from Fairburn to Newark, convenient for the work he was undertaking.
In , he was elected alderman and held the office of mayor of Newark in —1 and —4. He was not 17 18 From Jessop to Marc Isambard Brunel primarily an architect, nor a great bridge-builder, but a man whose special skill lay in handling water and earth. According to his contemporaries, his manners were simple; when disengaged from business, and in the company of intimate friends, he not infrequently displayed a playfulness of disposition, and a fund of entertaining anecdotes.
Totally free of all envy and jealousy of professional rivalry, his proceedings were free of all pomp and mysticism, and persons of merit never failed in obtaining his friendship and encouragement.
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In his last years, it is said, he suffered much from a form of paralysis. He died on 18 November , two months before his 70th birthday, and was buried in Pentrich churchyard. After Carnot graduated at the beginning of , he was commissioned as lieutenant and for ten years assigned to boring garrison duties in north-eastern France. These were interrupted by a three-year posting to Cherbourg, where he was involved in the construction of the great harbour.
Another paper, which won a prize from the Dijon Academy, was a eulogy of Vauban.go to site
He also wrote a paper suggesting how to steer hot-air balloons, and thus make them more useful for military purposes. Lazare followed his example in and won a seat in the National Convention in which the future of France was debated. Before long, he was chosen as the chief commissioner sent to persuade the commanding officers of the Army of the Rhine to accept the decrees of the National Assembly, which was accomplished successfully. The executive power of the state was then placed in the hands of the extremist Committee of Public Safety, which orchestrated the Jacobin Terror.
Carnot was a leading member of the Committee, and of the Directorate that replaced it as the government of France in In his capacity as a Director, Carnot occupied rooms of the Petit Luxembourg, which became the home of his family. The new Republic was threatened by rebellion, which he vigorously repressed. More difficult to deal with was the first attempt, by an external coalition, to restore the Bourbon monarchy.
Carnot organized the victory 19 20 From Jessop to Marc Isambard Brunel over the allied armies, using his engineering skills. For example, balloons were used to observe the movements of the royalist forces, and a semaphore telegraphic system was installed to provide rapid communication between the front-line troops and the authorities in Paris. He avoided the next two tempestuous years by living in Switzerland and Germany before returning to France as Minister of War under Bonaparte.
Soon it became clear that the two men were quite incompatible and Carnot resigned his office. For the next few years, Carnot resumed his scientific work. He had been elected to the Institut de France in , expelled after the coup in , and re-elected in When Bonaparte was finally defeated and the restored Bourbon monarchy began reprisals against the leading republicans, he moved for safety to Magdeburg in Germany, where he died on 2 August , at the age of His scientific work was continued by his son, Sadi, whose profile follows later.
Thomas Telford — Scotland produced not only great mechanical engineers, like James Watt, but also outstanding civil engineers, notably Thomas Telford. He was born in a cottage at Westerkirk in Dumfriesshire on 9 August His father, John Telford, a shepherd, had died six months previously, so that he was raised by his mother Janet, whose only child he was. As a child, he worked for local farmers, when not attending school, but when he was 13 he was apprenticed to a local stonemason.
He also became interested in poetry. At the age of 24, he set off for London, having previously spent a year working in the New Town of Edinburgh. He was armed with letters of introduction to his fellow countrymen, the architects Thomas Telford — Robert Adam and Sir William Chambers; the latter gave him a job as a journeyman mason, working on the new Somerset House. He proved so capable that he was rapidly promoted to superintendent. When this work came to an end he was taken up by the wealthy and influential William Pulteney in Through Pulteney, Telford became superintendent of some important building work in Portsmouth dockyard.
Next, he was commissioned to superintend the renovation of the derelict Shrewsbury castle, one of many properties owned by Pulteney. The story is often told of how he was consulted about the leaking roof of the city church of St Chad.
On inspecting the building he discovered large cracks and advised that it was liable to collapse at any moment. His advice was treated with ridicule but only the next morning 21 22 From Jessop to Marc Isambard Brunel the tower of the church fell down, demolishing most of the nave. After that, his reputation soared. Another of his early designs was the octagonal church of St Michael at Madeley, Shropshire. However, ecclesiastical architecture was not his forte. At the beginning of , he was appointed Surveyor of Bridges for Shropshire. He tells us in his autobiography that he was responsible for no less than 40 major road bridges between and , some of which were crossings of the river Severn.
They were not all built of stone. The first iron bridge in England had been erected in Coalbrookdale a few years previously and Telford soon proved himself a master of the structural use of the new material. During this period, Telford was appointed engineer to the British Fishery Society, which was formed to develop the Highland fishing industry by constructing a series of small fishing ports.
Since communication by road was virtually non-existent in the Highlands, a survey was necessary, which Telford undertook in He wrote two reports on what he found, the second of which made a deep impression on the Government. It was decided to start by constructing the Caledonian Canal, linking the east and west coasts of Scotland through the Great Glen. Telford was appointed chief engineer and, despite enormous difficulties, it was ready for use in It was never a commercial success.
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Projects of this magnitude involved employing a large team of skilled and unskilled labourers; Telford took great care for their safety. Over a thousand new bridges were constructed, including crossings of the rivers Spey and Tay in Scotland, and the Beauly and Dee in England. In addition, there were various harbour works. In England, also, Telford was asked to report on the state of the roads, particularly those which led to the Irish ferries.
Among his recommendations was the improvement of the Holyhead road, the main route to Ireland, by building a first-class highway and replacing the ferry across the Menai Straits with a bridge. There was also the need for another major bridge at Conway. In each case, Telford designed a suspension bridge. The Conway Bridge, the first of its kind in Britain, spanned feet between the suspension towers; the Menai Bridge spanned feet. Both are still functioning today. Not all the bridges that Telford designed were built, notably that for a replacement of old London Bridge by John Rennie — a single iron arch spanning feet.
By this time, railways were beginning to compete with canals. Telford was on the side of the canal companies, who were fighting a losing battle. Telford himself favoured horses rather than locomotives to haul trains on tramways, which fed the canal barges. In , he acquired a home of his own, at 24 Abingdon Street, opposite the Palace of Westminster, which soon became a centre for civil engineering. This was completed in , by which time Telford was Although suffering from hearing loss, he regularly presided over the new Institution of Civil Engineers, successor of the earlier Society.
This, and similar professional bodies, performed functions that elsewhere were controlled by the state. They also conferred qualifications and honoured exceptional achievement in the profession. When he died, two years later, on 2 September , he was buried in Westminster Abbey. He never married.