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Original claim

Letters

Further to the correspondence about Thomas Telford (Letters last week) I would like to offer the following observations: JW Hall's letter highlights the breadth of Telford's work and its geographical spread.

The website www. thomastelford250. org was launched last week and over the next year will develop into an encyclopaedia of Telford's achievements.

A number of individuals would claim to be the 'original civil engineer'. Few could doubt Smeaton's significance, but it was Telford who, through his support of the ICE, created the profession as we know it.

Both Smeaton and Telford were self-trained engineers, but slightly earlier, John Grundy was actually trained as a civil engineer by his father.

Like Smeaton, he used science and technology to solve engineering problems and one can make a case for describing him as the 'original British civil engineer'.

Mike Chrimes, Head of Knowledge Transfer, Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA

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