Telford: Father of Modern Engineering

An exhibition marking the 250th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Telford, arguably Scotland's greatest engineer. Ran from 2 October to 25 November 2007.


Poster for Telford 250 exhibition

'Telford: Father of Modern Engineering' explores the life and work of Thomas Telford (1757-1834), and the development of civil engineering in general.


Telford's pioneering work

The son of a humble Dumfriesshire shepherd, Telford built an international reputation as a leading civil engineer, due in part to his designs for the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Caledonian Canal.

His pioneering work to open up the Highlands by building roads, bridges and canals was considered to have advanced the country by at least a century.


What you can see

Drawing of Telford's Menai Bridge
Telford's Menai Bridge.

The exhibition is a joint venture between the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and part of a series of celebrations throughout the UK.

On display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery will be:

  • Manuscripts
  • Drawings
  • Photographs
  • Paintings
  • Models and scientific instruments.

Alongside these will be specially commissioned photography by contemporary German photographer Michael Reisch, taken in response to Telford's enduring legacy.


Tuesday 2 October to Sunday 25 November 2007
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.


Past exhibitions page


Exhibitions page


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