Robert Whitehead (3 January 1823 – 14 November 1905) was an English engineer. He was born the son of a cotton-bleacher, in Bolton, England.

He developed the first self-propelled torpedo in 1866. He thus introduced the world to a weapon that almost changed the course of history during both World Wars.

Whitehead would eventually leave his assets to his granddaughter Agathe Whitehead who, in 1911, would be married to naval commander Georg Ludwig von Trapp who would use the torpedoes in his submarines in World War I.

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