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Joseph Bramah. Portrait of British engineer and inventor Joseph Bramah (1748-1814). Many of the machine tools that Bramah built enabled the expansion of British manufacturing in the 19th century. Bramah started his career as a cabinet- maker. His patented inventions, however, included an improved WC (toilet), a hydraulic press, a wood planing machine, the suction beer pump, and a serial-number printer for banknotes. His most famous invention was a pick-proof lock. He offered a prize of 200 guineas to the first person to pick the lock. After 67 years a US locksmith claimed the prize after taking 51 hours to open it during the Great Exhibition of 1851.
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