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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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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...

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George Bennie (1891–1957) by unknown photographer, 1928 reproduced courtesy of Glasgow University Archive Services (DC85/3/9)

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Bennie, George (1891–1957), inventor, was born on 29 August 1891 in Auldhousefield, Harriet Street, Pollokshaws, near Glasgow, the second of four children of John Bennie of John Bennie Ltd, general and hydraulic engineers, and his second wife, Elizabeth Gillespie. His father, who owned the ...

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Berthon, Edward Lyon (1813–1899), inventor of nautical aids and Church of England clergyman, was born in Finsbury Square, London, on 20 February 1813, the tenth child of Peter Berthon, an army contractor, who was reduced to comparative poverty by the wreck of a number of his ships and the end of the war in 1814. In 1828 ...

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B. W. Best

revised by Trevor I. Williams

Dunlop, John Boyd (1840–1921), inventor of the pneumatic tyre, was born on 5 February 1840 at Dreghorn, Ayrshire, the son of a farmer, John Dunlop, and his wife, Agnes, née Boyd. As a boy he attended the local parish school and, being considered too delicate for farm work, was allowed to continue his studies at ...

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John Boyd Dunlop (1840–1921) by unknown photographer photograph courtesy of Dunlop Tyres Ltd

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Frood, Herbert (1864–1931), inventor and manufacturer, was born in Balby, Doncaster, Yorkshire, on 7 March 1864, the fourth of the six children of Charles Trefusis Frood (1827–1881), draper's commercial traveller, and his wife, Amelia, née Blackwell (1830–1869). No information about his education survives, but as a boy he enjoyed making wagons and cranes, and his ambition always was to be an engineer. Aged fourteen he was apprenticed to a small firm in ...

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Fry, Jeremy Joseph (1924–2005), inventor and businessman, was born on 19 May 1924 at Grove House, Frenchay, Winterbourne, Gloucestershire, the youngest child in the family of two sons and one daughter of Cecil Roderick Fry (1890–1952), chairman of J. S. Fry & Sons Ltd...

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Walter Hancock (1799–1852) by R. Roffe, pubd 1836 (after Charles Hancock) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hancock, Walter (1799–1852), engineer and inventor of steam carriages, was born on 16 June 1799, the sixth son of James Hancock, a timber merchant and cabinet-maker at Marlborough, Wiltshire. Thomas Hancock (1786–1865), who developed the manufacture of rubber, was his brother. After serving an apprenticeship to a watchmaker and jeweller in ...

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Hansom, Joseph Aloysius (1803–1882), architect and inventor of the safety cab, was born at 63 Micklegate, York, on 26 October 1803, the second of the nine children of Henry Joseph Francis Hansom (bap. 1778, d. 1854), joiner and builder, and his wife, ...

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Herbert George Hasler (1914–1987) by Eileen Ramsay, c.1960 © Eileen Ramsay / PPL

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Hasler, Herbert George (1914–1987), inventor of sailing equipment and Royal Marines officer, was born in Dublin on 27 February 1914, the younger child and younger son of Lieutenant Arthur Thomas Hasler, quartermaster, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and his wife, Annie Georgina Andrews...

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Hickman, Ronald Price [Ron] (1932–2011), inventor and engineer, was born on 21 October 1932 in Greytown, Natal, South Africa, one of five children of Cyril Price Hickman (1899–1958), accountant, and his wife, Hélène Albertina de Villiers, née Neethling (1900–1957), who had been a schoolteacher before her marriage. He attended ...

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Holland, John Philip (1841–1914), inventor of the modern submarine, was born on 24 February 1841 in Castle Street, Liscannor, co. Clare, Ireland, the son of John Holland, a coastguard, and Mary Scanlon. Educated first at Limerick, he was prevented by poor eyesight from going to sea, so he took the initial vows of the teaching order of the Christian Brothers and studied at their schools in ...

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Kirk, Alexander Carnegie (1830–1892), mechanical engineer and inventor, was born in the manse of Barry, Forfarshire, on 16 July 1830, the eldest son in the family of three sons and one daughter of John Kirk (d. 1858), minister of Barry, and his wife, ...

Article

G. C. Boase

revised by W. Johnson

Lowe, James (1796–1866), inventor of a screw propeller, whose early life is unknown, was initially apprenticed on 2 November 1813 to Edward Shorter, a London master mechanic and a freeman of the City, who had in 1800 taken out a patent for propelling vessels, which he had named 'the perpetual sculling machine'. In 1816 ...

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Macmillan, Kirkpatrick (bap. 1812, d. 1878), inventor of the pedal bicycle, was born in the parish of Keir near Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, and baptized on 18 September 1812. He was the fifth son (the eldest of whom died aged thirteen) of Robert Macmillan, blacksmith at ...

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Patrick Miller (1731–1815) attrib. Sir George Chalmers, c. 1770 © National Portrait Gallery, London