ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
John Taylor (1779-1863), English civil engineer. Taylor was born at Norwich and showed an early aptitude for engineering. In 1796 he invented a crusher for copper ore for a mine near Tavistock in Devon and two years later took over the running of the whole mine. In 1803-17 he supervised the construction of the Tavistock Canal, linking the mine to a quay on the River Tamar. In 1819 he went to Cornwall to reopen an abandoned copper mine that soon became the most productive in the county and in 1824 built a narrow-gauge railway from the mine to the port at Devoran over 14km away. He founded both the British Iron Company and the Mexico-based Real del Monte mining company with James Henry Shears. In later life he was one of the founders of University College, London and served as its treasurer.
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