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Aveling, Thomas (1824–1882), engineer and manufacturer of steamrollers, was born at Elm, near Wisbech, on 11 September 1824, the eldest of three sons. He came from an old-established Cambridgeshire family, but he moved to Rochester in Kent as a boy, when his widowed mother remarried. About 1836 he was apprenticed to a farmer, ...

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Chance, Sir James Timmins, first baronet (1814–1902), glass manufacturer and lighthouse engineer, was born in Birmingham on 22 March 1814, the eldest of the six sons of William Chance (1788–1856), merchant and glass manufacturer, of Spring Grove, Birmingham, and his wife, Phoebe (...

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Dowty, Sir George Herbert (1901–1975), aeronautical engineer and industrialist, was born on 27 April 1901 at Pershore, Worcestershire, the son of William Dowty, a druggist and chemist in Pershore, and his wife, Laura Masters. He was the elder of twin boys by half an hour and the seventh son in the family. The twins were educated in a small private school in ...

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Sir George Herbert Dowty (1901–1975) by unknown photographer Royal Aeronautical Society Library

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Horne, Sir William Cornelius Van (1843–1915), railway builder and financier in Canada, was born on 3 February 1843 at Chelsea, Will county, Illinois, USA, the eldest son of Cornelius Covenhoven Van Horne, lawyer, and his second wife, Mary Minier Richards. His father's ancestors had emigrated from the ...

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Lorimer, Sir William (1844–1922), locomotive engineer and industrialist, was born on 4 November 1844 in Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire, son of William Lorimer, house factor, and Margaret Whigham. Little is known about his family origins and early life in Sanquhar. He attended the local parish school and at the age of fifteen joined the ...

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Mackenzie, Sir William (1849–1923), Canadian railway builder and financier, was born in Eldon township, Victoria County, Upper Canada (now Ontario), on 30 October 1849, the fifth son of John Mackenzie, farmer, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Maclaughlin, who had come after their marriage from ...

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John Loudon McAdam (1756–1836) by unknown artist, c. 1830 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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McAdam, John Loudon (1756–1836), builder and administrator of roads, was born in the west-coast town of Ayr, at 22 Sandgate, on 21 September 1756, the youngest child and second son of James McAdam of Waterhead (c.1718–1770), and his wife, Susannah Cochrane (...

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Sadler, (William) Windham (1796–1824), balloonist and gas engineer, was born on 17 October 1796 at 10 Stafford Row, Pimlico, London, the fourth, but second surviving, son of James Sadler (bap. 1753, d. 1828), first English-born aeronaut, and his second wife, Martha Hancock. William...

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Stringfellow, John (1799–1883), bobbin manufacturer and aeronautical engineer, was born in Attercliffe, near Sheffield, on 6 December 1799, the son of William Stringfellow, cutler, and his wife, Martha. His father was a man of wide scientific interests from whom he inherited a considerable degree of mechanical aptitude and ingenuity....