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Scottish American Engineers

Thomas Hutchins (1730-1789), engineer and geographer was of Scottish origin. He was author of some topographical works and also furnished the maps and plates of Smith's Account of Bouquet's expedition (Philadelphia, 1765). James Geddes (1763-1838), of Scottish birth or parentage, was surveyor of canal routes in New York State and was chief engineer on construction of the Erie Canal (1816), and chief engineer of the Champlain Canal (1818). "In all matters relating to the laying out, designing and construction of canals, he was looked upon as one of the highest authorities in the country." James Pugh Kirkwood (1807-77), born in Edinburgh, came to United States in 1832, was one of the most eminent engineers in the country, one of the founders of the American Society of Civil Engineers (1852) and President (1867-68). James Laurie (1811-75), born at Bell's Mills, Edinburgh, Chief Engineer on the New Jersey Central Railroad, consulting engineer in connection with the Housatonic Tunnel, and first President of the American Society of Civil Engineers. William Tweeddale, born in Ayrshire in 1823, rendered valuable engineering service in the Civil War, and was an authority on the sources and character of water supply. Henry Brevoort Renwick, noted engineer and expert in patent cases, first inspector of steam vessels for the Port of New York, was a son of James Renwick the scientist. David Young, born in Alloa, Scotland, in 1849, was President of the Consolidated Traction Lines of New Jersey and General Manager of the larger consolidated company. William Barclay Parsons (b. 1859), is partly descended from Colonel Thomas Barclay, a Tory of the Revolution. Hunter McDonald (b. 1860), descended from Angus McDonald, a refugee from Culloden, is a prominent railroad engineer. T. Kennard Thomson, born in 1864, is prominent as a bridge builder, designer of pneumatic caissons, etc. His father came from Stranraer in 1834. Hugh Gordon Stott, born in Orkney, in 1866, President of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (1907), Superintendent of motive power of Manhattan Railway System, etc. William Gibbs McNeill (1801-53), of Scottish parentage, was another engineer worth mentioning. Theodore Crosby Henry (1841-1914), "the father of irrigation in Colorado," was also of Scottish descent. William McLean (d. 1839), brother of Judge McLean, was mainly instrumental in extending the Ohio Canal from Cincinnati to Cleveland. John Findley Wallace (1852-1920), of Scottish descent, was chief-engineer of the Panama Canal (1904-05), and also designed and constructed many important engineering works. Angus Sinclair (1841-1919), born in Forfarshire, was an engineer, author of several text-books on engineering, and editor of the "Railway and Locomotive Engineering."

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