Richard Sutcliffe (26 January 1849 – 23 July 1930) was an Irish-born mining engineer and inventor. He was born on a farm in Tipperary Ireland and worked at coal mines in Ireland between 1857 and 1885. He moved to Barnsley, England in August 1885. In 1892 he invented the world's first coal cutting machine. In 1905 he invented the world's first underground conveyor belt. This invention revolutionized the mining industry by greatly reducing the amount of labour needed to transport coal. His company, Richard Sutcliffe Ltd., based in Horbury near Wakefield pioneered the manufacture of conveyor belts used in the mining and assembly line industries. His company devised many other types of mining equipment. His company also produced four documentaries about the manufacturing industry, directed by Lindsay Anderson between 1948 and 1954.
After his death, his children took over his business which was later bought out by a larger company. Today, his descendants run a company that manufactures playground equipment.