image Smeaton J, IM 005736
Image number: RS.5034
Credit: © The Royal Society
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North Esk bridge




John Smeaton (1724-1792, British), Civil engineer

Object type

Archive reference number

Image reference



height (drawing): 300mm
width (drawing): 1390mm



Design for a stone-arch bridge over the North Esk river, near Montrose, Angus. Plan and elevation,1:180 scale. From Smeaton volume 4, fol. 80.

Object history

The Royal Society John Smeaton collection consists of 6 volumes of his working drawings.

The drawings (with supplementary manuscripts and engravings) were classified by mechanical engineer, John Farey (1791-1851) under the following 6 headings: I. Windmills and watermills for grinding corn; II. Mills for various purposes and machines for raising water; III. Fire engines for raising water; IV. Bridges and Buildings; V. Canal works, sluices, and harbours; VI. Canals and river navigations.

Smeaton made all his drawings himself. Later in his career he employed a draughtsman, but still continued to draw the lines of all his drawings to the proper scale in pencil on cartridge paper which he called sketches. Fair copies of the sketches were then made on drawing paper by the draughtsman, William Jessop or his successor Henry Eastburn, and Smeaton's daughters frequently helped in the shadowing and finishing using ink wash.

Associated place

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