, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 212-223
Date: 19 Jun 2008

In Memoriam

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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.

Written in connection with the Kelvin Centenary Year 2007; see “Celebrating the Life of Lord Kelvin,” University of Glasgow News Review No. 11 (2007), 4.
Matthew Trainer: Matthew Trainer received his M.Phil. degree in physical sciences at the University of Edinburgh in 1980 and currently is a laboratory instructor at the University of Glasgow where his research focuses in part on the life and work of Lord Kelvin.