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Adams, Gladstone (1880–1966), motorist and inventor of a windscreen wiper, was born on 16 May 1880 at 4 St Ann's Row, Newcastle upon Tyne, son of John Adams, metal merchant, and his wife, Agnes, née M'Gregor, and was educated at Rutherford College, Newcastle...

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Ambler, Geoffrey Hill (1904–1978), inventor and air force officer, was born at 10 Kirklands Avenue, Baildon, near Bradford, Yorkshire, on 23 June 1904, the eldest child in the family of two sons and one daughter of Frederick Ambler (1873–1932), a worsted spinner and manufacturer, and his wife, ...

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Anderson, Sir John (1814–1886), inventor of ordnance manufacture machinery and arsenal manager, was born at Woodside, near Aberdeen, on 9 December 1814, the posthumous child of a local merchant, J. Anderson, and his wife, Helen Hosie. His mother remarried and his stepfather, Irvine Kempt...

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Archer, Frederick Scott (1813–1857), inventor of the collodion process in photography, was the second son of Thomas Archer, a butcher at Hertford, where he was probably born. Orphaned as a child, he was brought up by distant relatives and friends and while still a young man was apprenticed to a silversmith and bullion dealer named ...

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Frederick Scott Archer (1813–1857) by Robert Cade, 1855 Royal Photographic Society

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Arkwright, Sir Richard (1732–1792), inventor of cotton-spinning machinery and cotton manufacturer, was born on 23 December 1732 at Preston, Lancashire, the sixth of the seven children of Thomas Arkwright (1691–1753), a tailor, and his wife, Ellen Hodgkinson (1693–1778). The family was rooted in ...

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Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792) by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1789–90 private collection; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Austin, John (b. 1752, d. before 1838), music stenographer and inventor of a power-loom, was born at Craigton, near Glasgow, on 17 April 1752, the son of the gardener to John Baird, esquire. Nothing is known of Austin's early life or education. On 30 May 1777 he married ...

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Baillie, Charles William (1844–1899), inventor of the Baillie sounder and marine meteorologist, was born in Greenwich, Kent, the eldest son of Henry Robert Baillie (1808/9–1882), a master of the nautical school in Greenwich, and his wife, Isabella, née Haselar. He entered the Royal Navy...