William Jessop, British engineer and canal builder

William Jessop, British engineer and canal builder

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Caption: William Jessop. Illustration of William Jessop (1745-1814), English engineer and canal builder. Jessop was apprenticed to the engineer John Smeaton at the age of 14. In 1772 Jessop made his first engineering report for the building of a canal. He helped Smeaton design several canals before making his own reputation by advising on improvements to the River Trent. From then on he was consulted on virtually every canal built during his lifetime. He worked on lowland drainage projects and opened a railway in Surrey. He constructed several harbours, notably the West India Docks in London and Bristol's Floating Harbour. He was the leading engineer of his day.

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Keywords: canal designer, engineer, jessop, portraits, surname j, william

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