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Thomas Telford

Thomas Telford
(1757-1834)

Engineer

An uneducated Dumfriesshire stonemason who went on to become a giant of the Industrial Revolution. His first break was landing an important surveying job in
Shropshire, where his designs for canal aqueducts were innovative. Government road- and bridge-building schemes in the Highlands followed, while work in England and Europe also helped make his reputation as the foremost civil engineer of his day, earning him the nickname, ‘the Colossus of Roads’. One of his most famous structures is the Menai Bridge at Anglesey, one of the few in Britain to use the suspension principle. Despite his success he was never personally wealthy, choosing projects which were in the public, rather than his own, interest.