WILLIAM SYMINGTON, the real
inventor of Efficient Steam Navigation, was a native of Leadhills,
Lanarkshire, Scotland. Intended for the Church, he received an excellent
education, but his predilection for mechanics defeated that intention.
Before completing his
twentieth year he conceived the idea that the steam engine could be rendered
available for the propulsion of land carriages, an idea he afterwards
embodied in a working model, which, by the advice of Mr Meason, manager and
part proprietor of the Wanlockhead Lead Mines, he exhibited to the
Professors of the University of Edinburgh and other scientific gentlemen in
that metropolis, who were so much pleased, both with Symington and his
invention, that they strongly recommended Mr Meason not to lose sight of so
promising a genius, a recommendation so much in accordance with that
gentleman's own inclination, that he sent Symington to the University of
Edinburgh the succeeding winter, where, it appears by certificates Nos. 15
and 16, he was matriculated as a student.
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