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JOHN SMEATON 1724-1792 (ENGLAND)

V.Ryan © 2018

 
John Smeaton was a designer / engineer of bridges, windmills, water wheels, canals, harbours and lighthouses. A little known fact, is that Smeaton improved the efficiency of steam engines by 50%. He described himself as a ‘Civil Engineer’, which was the first time the term / description was applied to this type of work. It was military engineers who were usually responsible for large engineering projects.
Smeaton is best remembered for his radical redesign of the Eddystone Lighthouse (1759). This was stone built, with the stones at the base being dovetailed together, for strength. Another innovation was the use of hydraulic lime, which sets under water. This is a type of mortar that he developed and pioneered. His lighthouse design became the standard around the world and it is worth noting, that he did not protect his design with a patent. He believed that contributing positively to society, was better than financial benefit. His lighthouse design and future developments it led to, has undoubtedly saved many thousands of lives.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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