Deas, James

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b. 30 October 1827 Edinburgh, Scotland
d. c.1900 Glasgow, Scotland
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Scottish civil engineer responsible for the River Clyde in the period of expansion around the end of the nineteenth century.
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On completing his schooling, Deas spent some years in a locomotive manufacturing shop in Edinburgh and then in a civil engineer's office. He selected the railway for his career, and moved upwards through the professional ranks, working for different companies until 1864 when he became Engineer-in-Chief of the Edinburgh \& Glasgow Railway. This later became the North British Railway and after some years, in 1869, Deas moved to the Clyde Navigation Trust as their Engineer. For thirty years he controlled the development of this great river, and with imaginative vision and determined hard work he saw a trebling in revenue, length of quayage and water area under the Trust's jurisdiction. His office worked on a wide range of problems, including civil engineering, maintenance of harbour craft and the drafting of reports for the many Parliamentary Acts required for the extension of Glasgow Harbour. To understand the immensity of the task, one must appreciate that the River Clyde then had sixty-five shipyards and could handle the largest ships afloat. This had come through the canalization of the old meandering and shallow stream and the difficult removal of the river bed's rock barriers.
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Bibliography
1876, The River Clyde, Glasgow.
Further Reading
John F.Riddell, 1979, Clyde Navigation, A History of the Development and Deepening of the River Clyde, Edinburgh: John Donald.
FMW

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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