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Thomas Elder - Businessman

Sir Thomas Elder (1818-1897) emigrated to Australia from Kirkcaldy in 1854 and became involved with his brother in copper mining and smelting. With a partner he set up Elder Smith & Co, which was to become one of the world's largest wool-brokers and survives today as international brewing and resources group Elders Limited.

It was said that at one point he owned land greater in area than the whole of Scotland, and he was the first to import camels to Australia, to transport wool in the outback. His camel stud supplied several early explorations, which he helped finance with no thought of reward.

He was a member of the Legislative Council of South Australia and gave an endowment of £20,000 (followed by further, larger donations) to set up Adelaide University.

He also helped set up the city's zoo, donated a park and set up a hostel for destitute working men. The Elder Conservatorium of Music commemorates his name.

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