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Significant Scots
William Symington


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.

Learn more about him here in this pdf file!


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