08/06/2019
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Lighthouse engineer Robert Stevenson was born - On this day in history

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Robert Stevenson, the lighthouse engineer who created the Bell Rock Lighthouse, was born on 8 June 1772 in Glasgow. Stevenson's entry into lighthouse engineering came at the age of fifteen, when his widowed mother married Thomas Smith, engineer for the new Northern Lighthouse Board.

Stevenson worked ably alongside Smith and at the age of nineteen, was entrusted with designing a lighthouse at Little Cumbrae. For the next few months, he worked on lighthouses in the summer and during the winter months, expanded his engineering knowledge with a programme of study he created for himself.

Stevenson was an engineer for the Northern Lighthouse Board for almost fifty years and three of his sons (David, Alan and Thomas) followed him into the profession, with his daughter writing an illustrated account of the building of the Bell Rock Lighthouse.

Video of Bell Rock Lighthouse:

Further reading

The Lighthouse Stevensons by Bella Bathurst

 

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