John Rennie was a leading civil engineer in Great Britain and Ireland for thirty years from the canal mania of the 1790s to his death in 1821. As well as canals, he designed bridges, drained extensive fenlands, planned ports and harbours, naval dockyards and sea defences, all the while continuing the millwrighting that was his original profession. Dedicated to his work, he reported on more than 200 separate projects, providing solutions that were both innovative and thorough. He built the longest cast-iron span in the world, and his Waterloo Bridge in London has been praised as the finest masonry arch bridge. The Bell Rock Lighthouse that he designed is now the oldest working, sea-swept lighthouse in the world.
This biography of Rennie is the product of extensive research into the reports that his clerks copied into thirteen large bound volumes now held at the Institution of Civil Engineers, the masses of working documents that his descendants donated to the National Library of Scotland, the Boulton & Watt papers at the Library of Birmingham, and contemporary mentions of him by colleagues and in newspapers.
Hardback, 208 pages, 112 illustrations including maps â€“ many in colour