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ARROL, Sir William (1839 – 1913)

Responsible for the Forth Rail Bridge and the replacement Tay Rail Bridge which were the two most substantial bridges in the world of their time and are still in constant use today. Also worked on Tower Bridge in London.


This Scottish company operated from 1896 to 1931 and built the first automobile to be manufactured in the UK. They also built the world’s first off-road vehicle.

Ayrshire Dockyard, Irvine

Founded 1888. More information required. In 1912 Mackie & Thomson sold their Govan yard and moved to Irvine. In 1928 yard bought by Lithgows who continued building there until 1959.

BAE Systems Surface Ships, Scotstoun and Govan.

Formed by degrees through purchase and merger of the two historic shipyards, Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd and Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company.

BAIRD, Charles (1766-1843) Russia’s First Steamship Builder

Baird was born at Westerton, Stirlingshire. He served an apprenticeship at Carron Iron Works and in 1786 went to Russia. It was there in 1792 that he founded what became known as the Baird Works specialising in steam-driven machinery and in 1815 launched the Elizaveta, Russia’s first steamship.

Barclay Curle, Whiteinch.

Established in 1818 by Robert Barclay at Stobcross, Glasgow, and built a large engineering works there in 1862. Moved yard to Whiteinch in 1876. In 1912 acquired the nearby Elderslie Shipyard in Scotstoun from John Shearer & Sons. BC acquired itself by Swan Hunter in 1912. Ceased building ships at Whiteich in 1968.

Barr and McNab, Paisley

Two Bury type 0-4-0s were built for the Ardrossan Railway in 1840. More information required.

Barr and Shearer

Ardrossan. F 1848

BELL, Rev. Patrick (1800 – 1869)

Invented the reaping machine which was a direct precursor of the modern combine harvester.

Blackie and Company, Aberdeen

Two locomotives were built in 1848 for the Aberdeen Railway.

Blackwood and Gordon, Port Glasgow

Shipbuilders and Marine Engineers established 1860 at Castle Street. They had moved from Paisley in order to build larger ships.

BLYTH, James MA LLD FRSE FRSSA (1839-1906) World’s First Wind Turbine Electricity Generator.

Born Marykirk, Kincardineshire, Scotland. In 1887 he built the world’s first electricity generating turbine in the garden of his holiday home in Marykirk, Scotland, to generate electricity which provided lighting for the house.

Blythswood Shipbuilding Co, Scotstoun

Established 1919 by Hugh H MacMillan & Donald Bremner. Principally built tankers. Yard closed in 1964 and the yard acquired the following year by Yarrows for expansion.

Bow McLachlan and Co

Founded at abbotsinch in 1872 by engineers William Bow and John McLachlan. Built steering gear and light marine engines. In 1900 took over J McArthur & Co’s Thistle works and shipyard at Paisley, specialising in “knock-down” or pre-fabricated vessels that could be delivered in parts to be rebuilt where needed.


Born Caithness, Scotland (1784-1856), a shipbuilder, civil engineer and recoverer of wrecks. Served an apprenticeship with Robert Steele & Sons of Greenock, then returned to Wick and established his own shipyard. Became a renowned wreck recoverer of approx 240 vessels, including that of ┬áBrunel’s “Great Eastern”. He also worked on a large number of harbours in Scotland, including Telfords harbour at Wick.

BROWN, Samuel KH, FRSE. (1776-1852) Civil & Mechanical Engineer.


Son of William Brown of Borland, Galloway, Scotland. Carried out experiments with wrought iron chain cables and his proposals on their use in ships rigging were taken up by the royal navy. He designed and built major suspension bridges using his chains.

Buckie Shipyard

Started life in 1903 as Herd & McKenzie. In 2013 it became insolvent and its assets acquired by McDuff Shipyards.


BUICK, David Dunbar (1854-1929) Founder of the Buick Motor Company

Born Arbroath, Angus, Scotland. Buick cars became a cornerstone of the General Motors leviathan and over 35,000,000 cars were built in his name. He also invented the overhead valve (OHV) engine which is still used in the vast majority of cars produced today. He was also responsible for the invention of the technique for coating cast iron baths with vitreous enamel.

Burntisland Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Burntisland.

Founded in 1918 by Wilfred and Amos Ayre. The yard built 310 ships before its closure in 1969.

Caird and Co, Greenock

Shipbuilders and marine engineers, established in 1828 by John Caird.

Caird and Company, Greenock

Constructed four locomotives for Scottish railways.

Caledon Shipbuilding and Engineering Co

F Dundee 1874 by William Bruce Thompson

Campbeltown Shipbuilding Co Ltd

1877 by Archibald MacEachern

CARNEGIE, Andrew (1835 – 1918)

Born Dunfermline, Scotland. U.S. iron and steel magnate. Gave a considerable proportion of his fortune to educational endowments, including libraries and over 10,000 church organs. He funded the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace which went on to found the Hague Academy of International Law, and the Peace Palace at The Hague to house the Permanent Court of Arbitration.


Carry Freedom

Founded by Nick Lobnitz, and operating out of High Clunch Farm, Stewarton, Ayrshire. Hand builds bike trailers and the Paper Bike, a city bike for multi-usage or individual city people.

Scottish Achievement, Influence & Heritage is a work in progress