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    Thomas Savery, Inventor Steam Engine - 1698  
Thomas Savery was an English inventor. Initially interested in naval applications of engineering (he designed an early paddle-wheel), Savery then became interested in pumping machines. On July 2, 1698 he patented an early steam engine, and...
 
    Thomas Newcomen, 1st Practical Steam Engine  
Thomas Newcomen was an ironmonger by trade and a Baptist lay preacher by calling. He was born in Dartmouth, Devon, England, near a part of the country noted for its tin mines. Flooding was a major problem, limiting the depth at which the mi...
 
    Rob Roy MacGregor, Scottish outlaw, Folk Hero  
Robert Roy MacGregor was a Scottish outlaw, who later became a folk hero. Rob Roy became a well-known and respected cattleman—this was a time when cattle rustling and selling protection against theft were commonplace means of earning a l...
 
    Johann Sebastian Bach  
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ul...
 
    John Harrison, Solved Longitude - 1773  
John Harrison was a self-educated English carpenter and clockmaker. He invented the marine chronometer, a long-sought after device for solving the problem of establishing the East-West position or longitude of a ship at sea, thus revolution...
 
    Voltaire, Author and Philosopher  
François-Marie Arouet, better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade. Voltaire was a proli...
 
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Writer, Philosopher  
As a brilliant, undisciplined, and unconventional thinker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau spent most of his life being driven by controversy back and forth between Paris and his native Geneva. Rousseau first attracted wide-spread attention with his...
 
    Frederick II of Prussia, The Great  
Frederick the Great was the Hohenzollern King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786 and is regarded as one of the "enlightened despots" of 18th century Europe. He was highly educated and built his government as a model of efficiency, creating the fi...
 
    Adam Smith, Father of Modern Economics  
Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher, pioneer of political economy, and a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. Smith is best known for two classic works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature a...
 
    Sir Joshua Reynolds, Painter  
Sir Joshua Reynolds, English portrait painter and aesthetician who dominated English artistic life in the middle and late 18th century. Through his art and teaching, he attempted to lead British painting away from the indigenous anecdotal p...
 
    Immanuel Kant, German Philosopher  
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who is widely considered to be a central figure of modern philosophy. He argued that fundamental concepts structure human experience, and that reason is the source of morality. His thought continues to...
 
    Robert Clive of India, Commander-in-Chief of British India  
Major-General Robert Clive, also known as Clive of India, Commander-in-Chief of British India, was a British officer and privateer who established the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal. He is credited with...
 
    Captain James Cook, British Navigator, Explorer  
Captain James Cook was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer, ultimately rising to the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean during which he ac...
 
    Matthew Boulton, English Manufacturer  
Matthew Boulton was an English manufacturer and business partner of Scottish engineer James Watt. In the final quarter of the 18th century, the partnership installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, which were a great advance on th...
 
    Henry Cavendish, Discovery of Hydrogen  
Henry Cavendish was a British scientist noted for his discovery of hydrogen or what he called "inflammable air". He described the density of inflammable air, which formed water on combustion, in a 1766 paper "On Factitious Airs". Antoine La...
 
       
 
         
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