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Great Historical Engineers

Great Historical Engineers

Great Historical Engineers

This list is from the UK, so it would be interesting if other nationalities can recall in what sphere these men were involved.  You may also want to extend the list by adding other great Engineers from your own locations.  This list is on the international www and so you can all send in your own vote for these past achievers.  

As engineers, we always bang on about how undervalued we are. Thus when a UK Survey asked the public to name an engineer, a few years back, nobody was really surprised when the most popular answer was "the car mechanic in Coronation Street".

But hang on a minute. Whilst it's true that today's engineers only tend to become well-known if they become successful businessmen too, we shouldn't confuse that with the respect in which the general public holds engineers of the past.

The BBC is currently running an exercise where we can all vote for "the greatest Briton of all time", and the Top 100 was revealed this week.
Apart from one or two silly inclusions (mainly from the world of pop music) and a few historically baffling ones (so what did King Richard III do for us, exactly?), the public has come up with a balanced, intelligent and intriguing list.

And guess what? Probably the biggest single grouping in the top 100 is engineers, scientists and mathematicians, beating politicians and even monarchs. The list includes Sir Alexander Fleming (number 20), Alan Turing (21), Michael Faraday (22), Stephen Hawking (25), John Harrison (39), Frank Whittle (42), John Logie Baird (44), Alexander Graham Bell (54), George Stephenson (65), Charles Babbage (80), James Watt (84), James Clerk Maxwell (91), Barnes Wallis (95) and Tim Berners-Lee (99). Highest of all come Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, whose places are still to be decided. That's because the next stage of the BBC's exercise is for the "top ten" to move on to a second and final round of voting. And Brunel, Darwin and Newton are right in there, up against Churchill, Shakespeare, Diana Princess of Wales, Elizabeth I, John Lennon, Cromwell and Nelson.

BBC TV is allowing well-known figures to present the cases for each of the top ten "Great Britons", and after this week's impassioned hour-long plea for Brunel by Jeremy Clarkson, it's wonderful to see the great man (Brunel, not Clarkson) currently topping the list. But there's a long way to go, so get along to the BBC website and cast your vote. The Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Great Western Railway, the SS Great Britain ...need I say more?


RE: Great Historical Engineers

AGNEW - William Alexander
Born: 1874, Newton Stewart
Died: 1958
Mechanical Engineer

Apprentice electrical engineer, King Brown & Co, Edinburgh. Power plant installation at Foyers. Early electrical traction for Glasgow Corporation (1898). Designed and built electric dynamos. Published The Elecvtirc Tram Car Handbook for Motormen, Inspectors & Depot Workers. Metropolitan District Line, London - Helped prepare first rule book for electric train working.

 Famous Scottish Technologists and Scientists - B

Here is a small selection of famous scottish engineering inventors, for a country so small we sure did produce alot of stuff


BAIN - Alexander
Born: 1810, Watten, Caithness
Died: 1877

Embraced the fields of electric telegraphy including electro-chemical telegraphs, printing telegraphs and automatic telegraphs, electrical horology, picture telegraph, various branches of electrical technology, firearms and musical instruments. He conceived and constructed an electromagnetic clock and was thr first person to transmit time signals telegraphically. Devised a facsimile transmission system. 'Alexander Bain, a most ingenious and meritorious inventor'
BELL - Alexander Graham
Born: 1847, Edinburgh
Died: 1922
Teacher of elocution

Developed the telephone, telegraph, sound recording, and photophone, transmitting sound by means of a beam of light. Built biplane (1908) which flew the first official public flight in USA. Designed hydrofoil which gained the world water speed record in 1918.

 Famous Scottish Technologists and Scientists - C

CADELL - Henry Moubray
CADELL - Colin
CLERK - Daniel Kinnear
CLERK - Sir Dugald
COCHRAN - William
COCHRAN - William Gemmell
COCHRANE - Archibald, 9th Earl of Dundonald
COCHRANE - Thomas, 10th Earl of Dundonald
CONAN - William
CONNELL - Arthur
CONNOR - Benjamin
COOK - James
COTTRELL - Tom Leadbetter
COUPER - Archibald Scott
CRAIG - James
CREED - Frederick George
CULLEN - William
CULLEN - William
CADELL - Henry Moubray
Born: 1860, Bo ness
Died: 1934

Made important contribution on the West Lothian oil shale fields. Conducted mountain building experiments close to his home at Bo'ness.

CADELL - Colin
Born: Colinton, Edinburgh
Electrical Engineer

Worked in the fields of radar, signal interception and intelligence. Involved in work on Enigma and Ultra at Bletchley Park. Funded International Air Radio. Director of Signals, Air Ministry, 1944.

Born: Wigtownshire
Died: 1938
Locomotive Superintendent

Designed A Class 0-6-2T railway engine.

Born: 1818, Dundee
Died: 1895
Mechanical Engineer

James Carmichael & Co, builder of first railway locomotive in Scotland. Dundee & Newtyle Railway. First British locomotive to have bogie.

Born: 1835, Dunfermline
Died: 1919
Steel magnate

Manufacturer of iron and steel in America. Pioneered enlargement of the hearth in the blast furnace. Built up the biggest steel business in America, applying vertical integration through ownership of own sources of coal and iron, railway and steamships. Funded the building of libraries, etc.

CLERK - Daniel Kinnear
Born: 1822, Edinburgh
Died: 1896
Civil and Mechanical Engineer

Apprenticed Thomas Eddington & Son, Phoenix Works, Glasgow, the Notrth British Railway. Consulting Engineer, London. Designed 2-4-0 locomotive. Patented smoke preventing device. Publications - Railway Machinery (2 Vol), Manual of Rules for Mechanical Engineers. Locomotive Superintendent, Great North of Scoltand Railway, Kittybrewster.

CLERK - Sir Dugald
Born: 1854, Glasgow
Died: 1932

Sir Dugald Clerk, FRS was probably identified with the internal combustion engine more than any other engineer of his generation. Born in Glasgow in 1854, Clerk's education was planned around his intention to become a chemical emngineer.
DEWAR - James
Born: 1842, Kincardine-on-Forth
Died: 1923
Chemist and physicist

Investigated low temperatures and liquifaction of gases. Produced liquid oxygen and developed Dewar flask the forerunner of the Thermos flask. Developed a machine producing temperatures as low as 14oK. Produced liquid hydrogen (1898) and solid hydrogen (1898). Smokeless fuel.

DUNLOP - John Boyd
Born: 1840, Dreghorn, Ayrshire
Died: 1921
Veterinary surgeon

Experimented with air tubes to reduce shock from wheels on his son's tricycle and subsequently patented an pneumatic tyre (1887). This patent brought him into dispute with R W Thomson who had previously patented a similar device. In 1889 formed Dunlop Rubber Company.

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