John Linnell painted this portrait of Richard Trevithick in 1816. That year, Trevithick left England for Peru - the Andes mountains can be seen in the background.
Image: Science Museum/SSPL

Richard Trevithick - Engineer and wrestler

Living among the workings of the local tin mining industry, Richard Trevithick was quickly drawn into the fascinating mechanical world of the mines, with their engines, pumps and other machines.

Aged 19, he was working as an engineer and earned his colleagues' respect. This wasn't just down to technical ability. He also enjoyed wrestling and, fighting a man called Hodge one day, seized him by the waist, turned him upside down and stamped an imprint of his boots on the ceiling.