The early 19th century, in particular, was a time of great upheaval everywhere, not simply on the work front but in war, government and the arts, too. And it threw up more than its fair share of major players.
Not all of them had any impact on the Industrial Revolution - though some undoubtedly did and others held strong views about what was happening. Yet they all lived through the period and left their mark on a defining moment of history.
Here are a selection, some famous for their good work, others remembered for the wrongs they perpetrated. All unforgettable in their own way.