Physics in Perspective

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 212–223

In Memoriam

Lord Kelvin, Recipient of The John Fritz Medal in 1905

DOI: 10.1007/s00016-007-0344-4

Cite this article as:
Trainer, M. Phys. perspect. (2008) 10: 212. doi:10.1007/s00016-007-0344-4

In 1905 Lord Kelvin (1824–1907) was awarded the second John Fritz Medal for a lifetime of outstanding achievements in science and technology. I sketch Kelvin’s life, education, and work in thermodynamics, electrical technology, and instrumentation, and his role in the laying of the Atlantic cable. I then turn to Kelvin’s four visits to America, in 1876 on the centenary of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America; in 1884 when he gave his famous Baltimore Lectures at The Johns Hopkins University; in 1897 when he visited Niagara Falls for the third time and advised George Westinghouse (1846–1914) on how to develop its enormous water power for the generation of electricity; and in 1902 when he advised George Eastman (1854–1932) on the development of the photographic industry.


William ThomsonLord KelvinJohn FritzJohn Fritz MedalGeorge WestinghouseGeorge EastmanUniversity of GlasgowUniversity of CambridgeJohns Hopkins UniversityGeneral Electric CompanyEastman Kodak CompanyNiagara FallsAtlantic cablethermodynamicstelegraphyscientific instruments

Copyright information

© Birkhaueser 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kelvin Building, Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK