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Sir Joseph Whitworth (1803-1887), British engineer and inventor. Whitworth had a major impact on engineering by pioneering the use of precise measurement and standard component designs. From 1834 he obtained many patents for machinery components and his company was generally regarded as Britain's leading manufacturer of machine tools. In 1841, he invented the standardised screw thread that still bears his name. During the 1850s he designed improved rifles and artillery. For these he subjected molten steel to pressure during solidification, the metal then being known as Whitworth Steel. On his death he gave large amounts of money to charitable causes.
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