The most famous family of all Scots engineers. Patriarch Robert
Stevenson (1772-1 850) followed in the footsteps of his step-father
Thomas Smith, an Edinburgh lampmaker and first engineer of the
Northern Lighthouse Board, set up to build new lighthouses and
make Scottish coastal waters safer for shipping. He built over
20 lighthouses, most famously the ingeniously designed lighthouse
on the treacherous Bell Rock off the east coast. Three of his
sons - Alan (1807-65), David (1815-86) and Thomas (1 818-87),
father of author Robert Louis - also became engineers, working
both in the Northern Lighthouse Board and in their own firm
where they diversified into other areas of civil engineering.
The brothers also designed lighthouses for waters from Newfoundland
to Japan. Their sons and grandson entered the professian; the
final Stevenson engineer, D. Alan, was responsible for deepening
the Clyde to accommodate the newly built Queen Mary after her
launch in 1934.