Joseph Bramah(1748-1814), Inventor
Sitter in 3 portraits
Initially apprenticed to a local carpenter, Bramah moved to London, where he obtained employment as a cabinet-maker. While working fitting water closets, he found certain defects in the model he was installing. He designed his own model, obtained a patent and began its manufacture. In 1783 he joined the Society of Arts, where he attended some technical discussions on locks before going on to perfect and patent his own design in 1784. As his lock became more widely demanded, he invented a method of mechanising its production. Bramah's most important invention is considered to be the hydraulic press, which still retains many industrial applications.
by William Walker
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.