08/03/2019
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Shipbuilder John Elder was born - On this day in history

466127c9-ba50-4625-b0b9-28e1926501c1

John Elder, the shipbuilder who invented the marine compound steam engine, was born in Glasgow on 8 March 1824. Elder came from a family with generations-worth of connections with the marine industry on the Clyde, and he was educated at Glasgow High School where he showed early promise in drawing and mathematics. He was apprenticed to Robert Napier and rose to become head of the drawing office at Napier's works.

Elder's invention, the marine compound engine, enabled ships to undertake long journeys without the need to refuel, helping to bring success to major shipping companies such as Cunard.

Elder was known for the care he had for his workforce and at the time of his death, was working on an education scheme for the children of his workers.


QUICK LINK: The QE2 in the Sixties

Back to "On this day in history" Category

08/03/2019 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Geologist John Playfair died - On this day in Scottish history

On 20 July 1819, Scottish geologist John Playfair died. ...


Scottish author A J Cronin was born - On this day in history

Scottish author A J Cronin was born on 19 July 1896. ...


Was Aberdeen the birthplace of Scotch whisky? Exciting new 16th-century find

Historians have uncovered the earliest ever reference to a still for distilling Scotch whisky which suggests ...


Actor John Stuart was born - On this day in history

Scottish actor John Stuart was born on 18 July 1898. ...


Other Articles

17th-century gold armorial ring found at Loch Lomond to go to auction

A 17th-century gold armorial ring found by a metal detectorist who has also discovered a rare Richard III of ...


Large number of finds at battle of Waterloo site in dig led by Professor Tony Pollard, University of Glasgow

A team working at the Waterloo battlefield in Belgium have uncovered uniform buttons from the Scots Guards ...


Economist Adam Smith died - On this day in history

Scottish economist Adam Smith died on 17 July 1790. ...


105 Shetland fishermen were lost in the Bad Day - On this day in history

On 16 July 1832 over 100 Shetland fishermen were killed in a storm. ...