Gordon, Lewis Dunbar Brodie

SUBJECT AREA: Civil engineering
b. 6 March 1815 Edinburgh, Scotland
d. 1876
Scottish civil engineer.
Lewis Gordon attended the High School in Edinburgh and Edinburgh University. He was unusual amongst British engineers of his generation in also spending some time at foreign educational establishments, including the School of Mines at Freiberg in Saxony and the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. He served under Marc Brunel in the final stages of the construction of the Thames Tunnel, from 1837 to 1840. After this, he set up a civil engineering partnership with Lawrence Hill in Glasgow in 1840 and was then appointed as the first holder of the Regius Chair of Civil Engineering and Mechanics at Glasgow University, 1841–55. He seems to have been frustrated by the lack of facilities at Glasgow, and handed over to his deputy, W.J.M. Rankine in 1855, in order to concentrate on his growing private practice which he had been building up during his professorship at the university. His practice was involved in designing iron bridges and introducing wire rope into Britain; he also became involved with submarine cables and telegraphy. With Charles Liddell, he was the engineer for several railways in England and Wales, including the Crumlin Viaduct on the Newport, Abergavenny and Hereford Railway.
Further Reading
Although he was frequently referred to in accounts of the period, there appears to be no good biographical work on Gordon. However, see Buchanan, 1989, The Engineers.

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

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