Ferguson, Peter Jack

SUBJECT AREA: Ports and shipping
b. 21 July 1840 Partick, near Glasgow, Scotland
d. 17 March 1911 Greenock, Scotland
Scottish marine engineer, pioneer of multiple-expansion steam reciprocating machinery.
Ferguson was educated at the High School of Glasgow before going on to serve his apprenticeship in the engineering department of Thomas Wingate's shipyard. This yard, situated at Whiteinch, then just outside the Glasgow boundary, built interesting and innovative craft and had a tradition of supplying marine engines that were at the leading edge of technology. On his appointment as Manager, Ferguson designed several new types of engines, and in 1872 he was responsible for the construction of what is claimed to be the world's first triple-expansion engine, predating the machinery on SS Propontis by two years and Napier's masterpiece, the SS Aberdeen, by nine years. In 1885, along with others, he founded the shipyard of Fleming and Ferguson, of Paisley, which in the subsequent eighty-five years was to build nearly seven hundred ships. From the outset they built advanced steam reciprocating machinery as well as dredging and other types of plant. The new shipyard was to benefit from Ferguson's experience and from the inspiration he had gained in Wingate's, where experimentation was the norm.
Further Reading
F.M.Walker, 1984, Song of the Clyde. A History of Clyde Shipbuiding, Cambridge: PSL.

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

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