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Room 16

Technological Transformation

The world we inhabit today would be unimaginable without the work of the pioneers of science technology whose portraits fill this room. By 1815, Britain was a superpower and the world’s richest nation. Accelerated by colonial expansion, innovative technologies based on steam power enabled the mass production of goods and materials. Entrepreneurs created wealth and opportunities. Industrial development also attracted workers from agriculture to better-paid but often more dangerous jobs in factories and mines. Engineering and science became careers pursued by professionals who met to exchange ideas. Some were self taught and from modest backgrounds but found social advancement through their work.

26 portraits on display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery

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Erasmus Darwin, after Joseph Wright - NPG 88

Erasmus Darwin

after Joseph Wright
oil on canvas, based on a work of probably 1770s
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 88

James Brindley, by Francis Parsons - NPG 6170

James Brindley

by Francis Parsons
oil on canvas, 1770
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6170

Josiah Wedgwood, after William Hackwood - NPG 1948

Josiah Wedgwood

after William Hackwood
cast from original Wedgwood mould, white jasper on black dip, medallion, 1922, based on a work of 1782
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1948

Sir Richard Arkwright, by Joseph Wright - NPG 6848

Sir Richard Arkwright

by Joseph Wright
oil on canvas, circa 1783-1785
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6848

Sir William Herschel, by Lemuel Francis Abbott - NPG 98

Sir William Herschel

by Lemuel Francis Abbott
oil on canvas, 1785
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 98

Adam Smith, by James Tassie - NPG 3237

Adam Smith

by James Tassie
glass paste medallion, 1787
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3237

David Hume, by James Tassie - NPG 4897

David Hume

by James Tassie
glass paste medallion, circa 1791
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4897

James Watt, by Carl Fredrik von Breda - NPG 186a

James Watt

by Carl Fredrik von Breda
oil on canvas, 1792
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 186a

Thomas Bentley, after Joachim Smith - NPG 1949

Thomas Bentley

after Joachim Smith
white jasper on black dip, modern cast from original Wedgwood mould, based on a work of circa 1773
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 1949

John Wilkinson, after Lemuel Francis Abbott - NPG 3785

John Wilkinson

after Lemuel Francis Abbott
oil on canvas, based on a work of late 1790s
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3785

Edward Jenner, by James Northcote - NPG 62

Edward Jenner

by James Northcote
oil on canvas, 1803
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 62

Sir Humphry Davy, Bt, by Thomas Phillips - NPG 2546

Sir Humphry Davy, Bt

by Thomas Phillips
oil on canvas, 1821
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 2546

Charles Waterton, by Charles Willson Peale - NPG 2014

Charles Waterton

by Charles Willson Peale
oil on canvas, 1824
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 2014

John Loudon McAdam, by Unknown artist - NPG 3686

John Loudon McAdam

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1830
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3686

Robert Owen, by William Henry Brooke - NPG 943

Robert Owen

by William Henry Brooke
oil on canvas, 1834
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 943

John Dalton, by Thomas Phillips - NPG 5963

John Dalton

by Thomas Phillips
oil on canvas, 1835
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5963

Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, by Samuel Drummond - NPG 89

Sir Marc Isambard Brunel

by Samuel Drummond
oil on canvas, circa 1836
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 89

Ada Lovelace, by Margaret Sarah Carpenter (née Geddes) - NPG L274

Ada Lovelace

by Margaret Sarah Carpenter (née Geddes)
oil on canvas, 1836
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG L274

Michael Faraday, by Thomas Phillips - NPG 269

Michael Faraday

by Thomas Phillips
oil on canvas, 1841-1842
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 269

Charles Babbage, by Samuel Laurence - NPG 414

Charles Babbage

by Samuel Laurence
oil on canvas, circa 1844-1845
On display in Room 16 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 414