The Eccentric Lord Kelvin?

Lord Kelvin

Thanks to writer and artist Edward Chisnall for the following information about Lord kelvin.

Lord Kelvin, the Great, Mr. Thomson that was and has his name inscribed amongst other Glasgow Uni. Greats on the gates in University Avenue...

His house in Professor’s Square was the first in Britain to be lit by electricity, in this case, carbon arc, not the incandescent bulb invented later by Alva Edison.

There is a film in the Hunterian Museum of Kelvin dancing with ‘Dryads’ near Drymen.

Kelvin was responsible for re-designing the interior of Brunel’s Great Eastern ocean going ship with its enormous paddle wheel. This was to facilitate the laying the transatlantic telephone cable.

Incidentally, Bell, the inventor of the telephone, stopped off at Glasgow University to visit Kelvin en route to London to present a pair of ivory Telephons to Queen Victoria. Bell was on his honeymoon, but it seems business came before pleasure.

Lord Kelvin was implicated in the KOSMOID swindle when a con man extracted large amounts of money from West of Scotland investors to start up a factory above the ‘crags’ in Dumbarton to make gold from lead...naturally. Needless to say, the con man vanished down the Clyde with the money and there was nae gold to be had. Other major investors conned included the great iron makers, the Bairds of Gartsherrie. The ‘K’ of KOSMOID stands for Kelvin.

A student of Kelvin’s, naval architect Percy Pilcher, was almost the first man to fly when he was killed in a crash on a hillside above Duntocher in 1898. He was about to fit a Daimler petrol engine to his glider and would have beaten the Wright brothers by a decade. A full-scale model of Pilcher’s glider is or was in the Transport Museum in Glasgow. There is a also a wee bit of film of Pilcher, who was inspired by the German glider enthusiast Otto Lilenthal, jumping of various hilltops in the west of Scotland.

Mair anon...