Famous Scottish Inventors & Discoverers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell.
8
Famous As: Inventor of Telephone
Birthdate: March 3, 1847
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edinburgh
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

James Watt.
7
Famous As: Inventor of Steam Engine
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.
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 3 John Logie Baird

John Logie Baird.
6
Famous As: Engineer
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.

 4 William Murdoch

William Murdoch.
4
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: August 21, 1754
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lugar, Scotland
Died: November 15, 1839

 5 John Loudon McAdam

John Loudon McAdam.
3
Famous As: Civil engineer, Engineer
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.

 6 David Dunbar Buick

David Dunbar Buick
3
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: September 17, 1854
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Arbroath, Scotland
Died: March 5, 1929

 7 Kirkpatrick Macmillan

Kirkpatrick Macmillan.
2
Famous As: Inventor of Pedal Bicycle
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.  

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 8 Alexander Bain

Alexander Bain.
2
Famous As: Inventor of Electric Clock
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

 9 Robert Stirling

Robert Stirling
2
Famous As: Clergyman
Birthdate: October 25, 1790
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Perthshire, Scotland
Died: June 6, 1878

 10 Robert William Thomson

Robert William Thomson
2
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: June 29, 1822
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stonehaven, Scotland
Died: March 8, 1873

 11 John Claudius Loudon

John Claudius Loudon
1
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: April 8, 1783
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cambuslang, Scotland
Died: December 14, 1843

 12 Alexander Winton

Alexander Winton
1
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: June 20, 1860
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Grangemouth, Scotland
Died: June 21, 1932

 13 Andrew Meikle

Andrew Meikle
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Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: May 5, 1719
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: November 27, 1811

 14 James Beaumont Neilson

James Beaumont Neilson
1
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: June 22, 1792
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Shettleston, Glasgow, Scotland
Died: January 18, 1865

 15 Sir Charles Ross, 9th Baronet

Sir Charles Ross, 9th Baronet
1
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: April 4, 1872
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Balnagown Castle, Scotland
Died: June 29, 1942

 16 William Symington

William Symington
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Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: 1764 AD
Birthplace: Leadhills, Scotland
Died: 1831 AD

 17 John Broadwood

John Broadwood
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Famous As: Piano maker
Birthdate: October 6, 1732
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cockburnspath, Scotland
Died: July 17, 1812

 18 William Ged

William Ged
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Famous As: Goldsmith
Birthdate: 1699 AD
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: October 19, 1749

 19 John Aitken

John Aitken
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Famous As: Meteorologist
Birthdate: September 18, 1839
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Died: November 14, 1919