Richard Roberts

Born: 4/22/1789
Birthplace: Carreghova, Montgomeryshire, Wales

A mechanical genius, Roberts is best known for having improved upon or invented several machine tools, including one of the first metal planing machines. He founded his own firm in 1816, and turned out railway locomotives and a spinning mule. He introduced interchangeable parts, improvements to the lathe, and automated processes for punching holes in metals. Though talented mechanically, he lacked business sense and failed to reap material rewards for his inventions, dying in poverty.

Died: 3/16/1864