Early Forth crossing designs were problematic, and by 1881 alternative proposals for the bridge were again being invited.
Sir John Fowler and Benjamin Baker were well-established engineers.
They submitted a design to the Forth Bridge Company on the cantilever and girder principle, and their design was accepted in 1882.
Sir Benjamin Baker
Baker was a civil engineer who designed the cylindrical vessel in which Cleopatra's Needle was transported from Egypt to London in 1877. He first worked with Fowler on the construction of the London Metropolitan Railway.
As an expert witness at the enquiry into the Tay Bridge Disaster, Baker advised that the bridge's collapse was not due to high winds, but to engineering errors.
With Fowler, Baker then proposed the pioneering cantilever design for the Forth Bridge, and work began in 1883.
After the successful construction of the Forth Bridge, Baker was knighted.
Sir John Fowler
As the railway system became more widespread around the world in the 19th century, much of Fowler's career involved railway engineering and design.
Fowler worked extensively on the construction of the London Underground, particularly the railways which now make up the city's Circle Line.
Notable among Fowler's designs are numerous viaducts, bridges, railway stations and even locomotives.
He was knighted in 1885 and made a baronet in 1890 after the successful construction of the Forth Bridge.
These engineer portraits are from the 'Illustrated London News', 8 March 1890. This item featured in our display, 'The Forth Bridge: Building an icon', at the Library from 1 April to 21 June 2015.