HomeAboutLogin
       
       
 
68 years

   
John Smeaton was an English civil engineer responsible for the design of bridges, canals, harbours and lighthouses. He was also a capable mechanical engineer and an eminent physicist. Smeaton was the first self-proclaimed civil engineer, and often regarded as the "father of civil engineering".

He was associated with the Lunar Society.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1753, and in 1759 won the Copley Medal for his research into the mechanics of waterwheels and windmills. His 1759 paper "An Experimental Enquiry Concerning the Natural Powers of Water and Wind to Turn Mills and Other Machines Depending on Circular Motion" addressed the relationship between pressure and velocity for objects moving in air (Smeaton noted that the table doing so was actually contributed by "my friend Mr Rouse" "an ingenious gentleman of Harborough, Leicestershire" and calculated on the basis of Rouse's experiments), and his concepts were subsequently developed to devise the 'Smeaton Coefficient'. Smeaton's water wheel experiments were conducted on a small scale model with which he tested various configurations over a period of seven years. The resulting increasing efficiency in water power contributed to the Industrial Revolution.

Over the period 17591782 he performed a series of further experiments and measurements on waterwheels that led him to support and champion the vis viva theory of German Gottfried Leibniz, an early formulation of conservation of energy. This led him into conflict with members of the academic establishment who rejected Leibniz's theory, believing it inconsistent with Sir Isaac Newton's conservation of momentum.

More on this Website

 
 
John Smeaton was an English civil engineer responsible for the design of bridges, canals, harbours and lighthouses. He was also a capable mechanical engineer and an eminent physicist. Smeaton was the first self-proclaimed civil engineer, and often regarded as the "father of civil engineering".

He was associated with the Lunar Society.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1753, and in 1759 won the Copley Medal for his research into the mechanics of waterwheels and windmills. His 1759 paper "An Experimental Enquiry Concerning the Natural Powers of Water and Wind to Turn Mills and Other Machines Depending on Circular Motion" addressed the relationship between pressure and velocity for objects moving in air (Smeaton noted that the table doing so was actually contributed by "my friend Mr Rouse" "an ingenious gentleman of Harborough, Leicestershire" and calculated on the basis of Rouse's experiments), and his concepts were subsequently developed to devise the 'Smeaton Coefficient'. Smeaton's water wheel experiments were conducted on a small scale model with which he tested various configurations over a period of seven years. The resulting increasing efficiency in water power contributed to the Industrial Revolution.

Over the period 17591782 he performed a series of further experiments and measurements on waterwheels that led him to support and champion the vis viva theory of German Gottfried Leibniz, an early formulation of conservation of energy. This led him into conflict with members of the academic establishment who rejected Leibniz's theory, believing it inconsistent with Sir Isaac Newton's conservation of momentum. More...

 
    Isaac Newton, Theory of Gravitation
  Isaac Newton, Theory of Gravitation
Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolutio...
 
    Gottfried W. Leibniz, Discovery of Calculus
  Gottfried W. Leibniz, Discovery of Calculus
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz was a German mathematician and philosopher. He occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. Leibniz developed calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and Leibniz's mathematic...
 
    Denis Papin, French Steam Pioneer
  Denis Papin, French Steam Pioneer
Denis Papin was a French physicist, mathematician and inventor, best known for his pioneering invention of the steam digester, the forerunner of the steam engine, and of the pressure cooker. In 1673, while working with Christiaan Huygens and Gottf...
 
    The Royal Society of London
  The Royal Society of London
The origins of the Royal Society lie in a group of men who began meeting in the mid-1640s to discuss the new philosophy. Its official foundation date is 28 November 1660, when 12 of them met at Gresham College after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the...
 
    Thomas Newcomen, 1st Practical Steam Engine
  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 mineral coul...
 
    The Lunar Society of Birmingham
  The Lunar Society of Birmingham
The Lunar Society of Birmingham was a dinner club and informal learned society of prominent figures in the Midlands Enlightenment, including industrialists, natural philosophers and intellectuals, who met regularly between 1765 and 1813 in Birmingham...
 
       
 
         
          2019 © Timeline Index | Webwork.Amsterdam