Famous Scottish Inventors & Discoverers

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 1 
Alexander Graham Bell
(Inventor of Telephone & Co-Founder of 'American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T)')
Alexander Graham Bell
11
Birthdate: March 3, 1847
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 2, 1922

Alexander Graham Bell was a scientist, inventor, and engineer. He is credited with inventing the first functional telephone. He is also credited with co-founding America's major telephone company AT&T, which has been going strong since 1885. Bell's later life was marked by his groundbreaking work in aeronautics, hydrofoils, and optical telecommunications. He was also an ardent supporter of compulsory sterilization.

 2 
James Watt
(Inventor of Steam Engine)
James Watt
9
Birthdate: January 19, 1736
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Died: August 25, 1819
Eighteenth-century Scottish inventor James Watt developed the Newcomen steam engine, by inventing the Watt steam engine, which brough about the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. He also co-owned the firm Boulton and Watt and laid down concepts such as horsepower and the watt, the SI unit of power.
 3 
John Logie Baird
8
Birthdate: August 13, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Helensburgh
Died: June 14, 1946

Scottish inventor, electrical engineer, and innovator, John Logie Baird, is best known for demonstrating a working TV system in 1926. He then went on to invent the first viable purely electronic color TV picture tube and founded the Baird Television Development Company. He was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame in 2015.

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 4 
William Murdoch
(Scottish Engineer and Inventor Who Was the First to Make Extensive Use of Coal Gas for Illumination)
William Murdoch
4
Birthdate: August 21, 1754
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lugar, Scotland
Died: November 15, 1839

Scottish engineer William Murdoch initially worked for the firm of Matthew Boulton and James Watt. He later made a host of inventions and was the first to use coal gas for illumination. He was also known for his work on steam energy and invented the oscillating engine and the D slide valve.

 5 
Sandford Fleming
(Scottish Canadian Engineer and Inventor of 'Worldwide Standard Time')
Sandford Fleming
4
Birthdate: January 7, 1827
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kirkcaldy, Scotland
Died: July 22, 1915
Hailed as the Father of Standard Time, Canadian engineer ,Sandford Fleming, promoted worldwide standard time zones, a prime meridian, and the use of the 24-hour clock. He also designed Canada's first postage stamp and founded the Royal Canadian Institute in 1849. Fleming gained the reputation as one of the primary railway engineers and was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1897.
 6 
David Brewster
(Scientist)
David Brewster
3
Birthdate: December 11, 1781
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jedburgh, Scotland
Died: February 10, 1868

David Brewster was a British scientist, inventor, and author. He conducted many experiments in physical optics, especially concerned with the study of the polarization of light. Fellow scientist William Whewell dubbed him the "father of modern experimental optics." He was also a pioneer in photography and invented an improved stereoscope. He wrote numerous works of popular science as well. 

 7 
James Dewar
(Scottish Chemist and Physicist Best Known for His Invention of the 'Vacuum Flask')
James Dewar
3
Birthdate: September 20, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kincardine, Scotland
Died: March 27, 1923

James Dewar was a British chemist and physicist best known for his invention of the vacuum flask. He conducted considerable research into the liquefaction of gases and atomic and molecular spectroscopy. He also wrote papers on the qualities of hydrogen and organic chemistry. He was awarded the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts and the Rumford Medal. 

 8 
John Loudon McAdam
(Civil engineer, Engineer)
John Loudon McAdam
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1756
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ayr, Scotland
Died: November 26, 1836

Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam introduced the world to the macadam road surface, which was more economical and effective than all previous road-construction methods. He suggested that roads should be constructed at an elevated level for better drainage. He also became Britain’s Surveyor-General of Metropolitan Roads.

 9 
Kirkpatrick Macmillan
(Inventor of Pedal Bicycle)
Kirkpatrick Macmillan
2
Birthdate: September 2, 1812
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Keir, Dumfries and Galloway
Died: January 23, 1878

Kirkpatrick Macmillan was a 19th-century Scottish blacksmith generally credited with inventing the pedal-driven bicycle. He allegedly completed constructing a pedal-driven bicycle of wood in 1839. The bicycle included iron-rimmed wooden wheels and a steerable wheel. However, there is no concrete evidence to prove that he was indeed the inventor of the first pedal-driven bicycle.  

 10 
Alexander Bain
(Inventor of Electric Clock)
Alexander Bain
2
Birthdate: October 1, 1811
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Watten
Died: January 2, 1877
Scottish philosopher Alexander Bain had quit school at 11 to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a weaver. He had initially been a civil servant and had also taught English literature and logic. He later deviated too psychology and launched the first journal on the subject, Mind
 11 
Robert William Thomson
(Inventor of the Fountain Pen and Original Inventor of the Pneumatic Tyre)
Robert William Thomson
2
Birthdate: June 29, 1822
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stonehaven, Scotland
Died: March 8, 1873

Apprenticed as a merchant at age 14, Robert William Thomson grew up to study civil engineering and also worked with the South Eastern Railway Company. His illustrious career saw him make quite a few inventions, such as the pneumatic tire, the fountain pen, and the road steamer.  

 12 
Dugald Clerk
(Scottish Engineer Known for Designing the World’s First Successful 'Two-Stroke Engine')
Dugald Clerk
2
Birthdate: March 31, 1854
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: November 12, 1932

Scottish engineer Dugald Clerk is best known for his invention of the two-stroke engine, used widely in motorcycles and other machines. He also headed engineering research of the British Admiralty as its director and was knighted, too. He also co-established the intellectual property service provider Marks & Clerk.

 13 
Alexander Winton
1
Birthdate: June 20, 1860
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Grangemouth, Scotland
Died: June 21, 1932
 14 
Andrew Meikle
(Engineer)
Andrew Meikle
1
Birthdate: May 5, 1719
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: November 27, 1811
Sir Charles Ross, 9th Baronet
1
Birthdate: April 4, 1872
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Balnagown Castle, Scotland
Died: June 29, 1942

Best remembered as the inventor of the Ross rifle, Sir Charles Ross, 9th Baronet was a talented sharpshooter and rower in his college days and had even participated in the famed Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford. The Eton-educated baron was also said to be the largest landowner in Britain.

 16 
James Beaumont Neilson
1
Birthdate: June 22, 1792
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Shettleston, Glasgow, Scotland
Died: January 18, 1865
 17 
William Symington
1
Birthdate: 1764 AD
Birthplace: Leadhills, Scotland
Died: 1831 AD
 18 
John Broadwood
(Piano maker)
John Broadwood
1
Birthdate: October 6, 1732
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cockburnspath, Scotland
Died: July 17, 1812
 19 
Robert Stirling
(Scottish Clergyman and Engineer Who Invented the Stirling Engine)
Robert Stirling
2
Birthdate: October 25, 1790
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Methven, Perthshire, Scotland
Died: June 6, 1878

Apart from being a clergyman, Robert Stirling was also an inventor and engineer, who created the famed Stirling engine. He was posthumously named to the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame. His inventions also included optical devices. While his grandfather invented the threshing machine, his father, too, made agricultural machinery.

 20 
William Ged
(Goldsmith)
William Ged
0
Birthdate: 1699 AD
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: October 19, 1749