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Adie, Alexander James (1775–1858), maker of scientific instruments, was born on 7 January 1775, and baptized at Greyfriars parish church, Edinburgh, the posthumous second son of John Adie and his wife, Elizabeth, née Miller. His father was a printer, one of the proprietors of the ...

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Adie, John (1805–1857), maker of scientific instruments, was born on 27 September 1805 in Edinburgh, the eldest of four sons of Alexander James Adie (1775–1858), scientific instrument maker, and his wife, Marion, née Ritchie. Although his early years remain obscure, it can be assumed that he served his apprenticeship in ...

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Anderson, Adam (1780–1846), natural philosopher and engineer, was born on 29 June 1780 in Tulliallan parish, Perthshire, third son in the family of four sons and two daughters of Andrew Anderson, shipmaster of Kincardine-on-Forth, and his second wife, Anne Moon, of Errol. In later life he shortened his age, claiming to be born in 1783; this was also the date recorded on the gravestone erected by his admirers. Educated in arts and, briefly, divinity, at ...

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John Anderson (1726–1796) after James Tassie, c. 1789 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Anderson, John (1726–1796), natural philosopher, was born on 26 September 1726 in the parish of Rosneath, Dunbartonshire, the eldest child of the three sons and one daughter of James Anderson (d. 1734?), the minister of the parish, and his wife, Margaret Turner (...

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G. F. Rodwell

revised by T. B. Anderson

Anderson, Thomas (1819–1874), chemist, was born on 2 July 1819, probably in Quality Street, Leith, the eldest of nine children of Charles Anderson (1772–1855), a surgeon, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Rhind, manager of an Edinburgh insurance office. His grandfather, also named ...

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Bain, Alexander (1810–1877), clockmaker and inventor, was born in October 1810 at Houstry, in the parish of Watten, Caithness, the fifth of eleven children of John Bain, a crofter, and his wife, Isobel Waiter. After a basic education at the local village school, ...

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Alexander Bain (1810–1877) by Campbell Harper? Science & Society Picture Library

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Baird, John Logie (1888–1946), television engineer, was born on 13 August 1888 at The Lodge, West Argyle Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, the youngest of the four children of the Revd John Baird, minister of the West Parish Church, Helensburgh, and his wife, Jessie Morrison Inglis...

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John Logie Baird (1888–1946) by Howard Coster, 1935 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bald, Robert (1776–1861), mining engineer, was born at Culross, Perthshire, one of two sons of Alexander Bald (d. 1823) and his wife, Jane Christie. Alexander Bald (1783–1859) was his younger brother. The father was then colliery manager for the earl of Dundonald...

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Balfour, Sir Andrew, first baronet (1630–1694), botanist and antiquary, was born at Balfour Castle, Denmiln, Fife, on 18 January 1630, the fifth and youngest son in the large family of Sir Michael Balfour and his wife, Jane or Joanna (d. 1640), daughter of ...

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Balfour, Francis Maitland (1851–1882), comparative embryologist and morphologist, was born on 10 November 1851 at Queen Street, Edinburgh, the fifth of the eight children (and third son) of James Maitland Balfour (1820–1856), landowner and MP, and Lady Blanche Gascoyne-Cecil (1825–1872), second daughter of ...

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John Hutton Balfour (1808–1884) by Maull & Polyblank, 1855 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Balfour, John Hutton (1808–1884), botanist, was born in Edinburgh on 15 September 1808, the eldest son of Andrew Balfour, an army surgeon who later settled in that city as a printer and publisher, and Magdalene, daughter of the Revd George Goldie, an Edinburgh...

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Barr, Archibald (1855–1931), engineer and manufacturer of range-finders, was born at Glenfield, near Paisley, Renfrewshire, on 18 November 1855, the third son of Archibald Barr, yarn merchant, and his wife, Jeanie Stirrat, of Paisley. From Paisley grammar school he entered the local works of ...

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Archibald Barr (1855–1931) by James Russell & Sons, 1930 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Patrick Bell (1799–1869) by unknown engraver, pubd 1868 (after E. Strachan) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bell, Patrick (1799–1869), Church of Scotland minister and inventor of agricultural machinery, was born in April 1799 at mid-Leoch, in the parish of Auchterhouse, a few miles north-west of Dundee. He was one of at least two sons of George Bell, a tenant farmer at ...

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Blackwell [née Blachrie], Elizabeth (bap. 1707, d. 1758), botanical author and artist, was baptized on 22 June 1707 at St Nicholas, Aberdeen, the sixth daughter of a prosperous stocking merchant, William Blachrie (b. c.1669) and his wife, Isobel Fordyce. Elizabeth...