Thomas Telford is one of Great Britain's foremost engineers who built both to carry water and to cross it. He was born in 1757 in Eskdale, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. By the 1790s, he became involved with improvements to harbors and the concomitant planning of settlements in northern Scotland through his involvement with the British Fisheries Society. He has also been involved with early 19th-century government surveys of the Scottish Highlands, which in turn led to his work on the Caledonian Canal, a concept that had begun with James Watt three decades earlier. He also got involved building canals that carried raw materials and finished goods to and from manufacturing centers. Perhaps his finest work is the Menai Strait Suspension Bridge, completed in 1826, and is one of the most beautiful bridges ever built anywhere in the world.
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