Sunday, 22 November 2009

Robert Stevenson

Robert Stevenson was born in Glasgow in 1772.
His father, a West Indies merchant, died when 
he was two, leaving the family in difficult
circumstances.

Robert entered the service of Thomas Smith,

whom his mother later married, in 1791. Thomas
Smith, who was a lamp-maker engineer to the
Northern Lighthouse Board, took Stevenson on 
as an apprentice and he also studied civil 
engineering at the Andersonian Institute and the
University of Edinburgh.

In 1796, Smith took him into partnership to be in

charge of the lighthouse side of Smith's business, 
and in 1797 Stevenson succeeded him as engineer
to the Northern Lighthouse Board. Stevenson is 
best known for his work in establishing the system 
of lighthouses in Scotland, building 20 lighthouses 
during his career, including the Bell Rock Lighthouse
which was completed in 1811.

He also improved current lighthouse engineering by

improving the way in which light was used and reflected.
He adopted the use of the cat atrophic or reflecting 
light advocated the use of the diotropic or refracting
system and invented the intermittent and flashing lights.
He was also influential in general engineering circles.

He undertook several other projects including bridge 

building, railway engineering (advocating the adoption
of the flanged wheel on locomotives) and road design
, and experimented with the durability of timber at sea.
He was a Fellow of several societies in Edinburgh and
London including the Royal Society of Edinburgh and 
the Wernerian Society of Edinburgh, and a member of
the Institute of Civil Engineering. He married Smith's 
daughter Jane in 1799. His three sons, Alan (1807 - 1865),
David (1815 - 1886) and Thomas (1818 - 1887) 
all followed him into engineering and became partners
in the firm.

His son Thomas was the father of Robert Louis 

Stevenson, author (1850 - 1894). Robert Stevenson
died in 1850 and is buried in Edinburgh.


Thanks to tireetam.

No comments:

Post a Comment