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Swan, William (1818–1894), physicist, was born in Edinburgh on 13 March 1818, the son and only child of David Swan (d. 1821), engineer, and his wife, Janet Smith, second daughter of Thomas Smith (bap. 1752, d. 1815), the lighthouse engineer. Her sister ...

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Thomson, David (1817–1880), physicist and university teacher, was born on 17 November 1817 in the Italian city state of Leghorn, the eldest son of David Thomson, a Scottish merchant based in that city. Thomson received a multilingual education and attended a M. Godin's boarding-school...