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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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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 (1772–1850), an army contractor, and his wife, Ellen Green Parke (1777–1854...

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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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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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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, ...

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G. C. Boase

revised by W. Johnson

Lowe, James (1798–1866), inventor of a screw propeller, was born on 13 May 1798 at Rotherhithe, London, where he was baptized, the son of James Lowe and his wife, Elizabeth. He was apprenticed on 2 November 1813 to Edward Shorter, a London master mechanic and a freeman of the ...

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

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Miller, Patrick (1731–1815), banker and inventor, was born at Glasgow, the third son of William Miller of Glenlee, and his wife, Janet Hamilton. He was a younger brother of Sir Thomas Miller, the lord president of the court of session. Although he was to claim that he began life '...

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Rudyerd, John (fl. 1703–1709), builder of the second Eddystone lighthouse, was one of a large and poor family. Little is known of his origins, except that he was born in Cornwall, probably near Plymouth. There he was in the service of a gentleman, who caused him to be educated....

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Sir Francis Petit Smith (1808–1874) by unknown artist © National Maritime Museum, London

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Smith, Sir Francis Pettit (1808–1874), inventor of a screw propeller, was born on 9 February 1808, probably at Copperhurst Farm, near Aldington Knoll, about 6 miles from Hythe, Kent. His father was Charles Smith, postmaster of Hythe, and his mother, Sarah, was the daughter of ...