Oil on canvas by Thomas Gainsborough. The painting is ofJohn Joseph Merlin ( 1781). Merlin was a fascinating man of his time and was a Belgian-born mechanical prodigy and inventor. He is also credited with the invention of roller skates! Photo by. Z. Clift.

Oil on canvas by Thomas Gainsborough. The painting is ofJohn Joseph Merlin ( 1781). Merlin was a fascinating man of his time and was a Belgian-born mechanical prodigy and inventor. He is also credited with the invention of roller skates! Photo by. Z. Clift.