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ELDER, John (1824-1869) Marine Engineer & Ship Builder.

His major contribution to engineering was his thorough understanding of the principles of thermodynamics, and through that development of the first practical compound or combined high and low pressure steam engines, previous attempts at  which had all proved to be failures. It resulted in fuel savings of 30 to 40% and opened up the world’s oceans to ships powered by steam. The days of  commercial sailing vessels were numbered from then on.

FRASER, George

b. Aberdeen (1832 – 1901). Managed a foundry in Glasgow before emigrating to New Zealand in 1855. Built his first engine there in 1867. In 1872 built two sets of compound surface-condensing marine engines and high pressure boilers. The first of their kind to be built in New Zealand. In 1876 launched the first iron vessel constructed in New Zealand.

McKie and Baxter, Govan.

Founded by partnership of J A McKie & P McLeod Baxter. The Copeland Works, Govan, Glasgow, opened in1895. Amalgamated with Campbell & Calderwood in 1931. Ceased trading in 1968.

Muir and Houston, Glasgow.

Engineers and boiler makers at Regina Works, Kinning Park, Glasgow.

NAPIER, Robert

b. Dumberton. (1791 – 1876). Shipbuilder and Engineer.

North British Diesel Engine Works

Established in 1913 by Barclay Curle shipbuilders at their Clydeholm Shipyard.

WATT, James FRS, FRSE (1736-1819) The Watt Steam Engine

Born Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland. His invention, the Watt Engine, kick-started and powered the industrial revolution. Isaac Asimov stated that Watt, by inventing the centrifugal governor created “the germ of automation, since the centrifugal governor was a device that controlled a process by means of the variations in the process itself. Automation has not come into its own until recent decades, but it began with James Watt, and the word governor, via the Greek, has given us the word cybernetics.” Among many other advances made by Watt was the first desktop copier with a patent filed in 1780, and steam heat, when he heated is office with steam. The term horsepower (550 ft-lbs per second) is his, and the unit of power in the metric system is called the Watt in his honour.

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