The Great Scot who founded Pinkertons


Allan Pinkerton, (born August 25, 1819, Glasgow, Scotland—died July 1, 1884, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.) Scottish-born detective and founder of a famous American private detective agency.
Pinkerton was the son of a police sergeant who died when Allan was a child, leaving the family in great poverty. Allan found work as a cooper and soon became involved in Chartism, a mass movement that sought political and social reform. His activities resulted in a warrant for his arrest, and in 1842 Pinkerton fled to the United States, settling in Chicago. Moving the next year to the nearby town of Dundee in Kane county, he set up a cooper’s shop there. While cutting wood on a deserted island one day, he discovered and later captured a gang of counterfeiters. Following this and other similar achievements, he was appointed deputy sheriff of Kane county in 1846 and soon afterward deputy sheriff of Cook county, with headquarters in Chicago.
In 1850 Pinkerton resigned from Chicago’s new police force in order to organize a private detective agency that specialized in railway theft cases. The Pinkerton National Detective Agency became one of the most famous organizations of its kind. Its successes included capture of the principals in a $700,000 Adams Express Company theft in 1866 and the thwarting of an assassination plot against President-elect Abraham Lincoln in February 1861 in Baltimore. In 1861, working for the Union during the Civil War, Pinkerton, under the name E.J. Allen, headed an organization whose purpose was to obtain military information in the Southern states.
After the Civil War Pinkerton resumed the management of his detective agency. From 1873 to 1876 one of his detectives, James McParlan, lived among the Molly Maguires in Pennsylvania and secured evidence that led to the breaking up of this organization of coal miners supposedly engaged in terrorism. During the strikes of 1877 the Pinkerton Agency’s harsh policy toward labour unions caused it to be severely criticized in labour circles, although Pinkerton asserted he was helping workers by opposing labour unions. Pinkerton wrote The Molly Maguires and the Detectives (1877); The Spy of the Rebellion (1883), his account of Lincoln’s journey to Washington in 1861; and Thirty Years a Detective (1884).

The Great Scot who invented the dugout


Donald Cameron Cunningham, known as Donald Colman (14 August 1878 – 1942) was a football player and coach (or trainer) in the early years of the 20th century, playing and coaching most notably for Aberdeen. His career in senior football did not begin until he was in his late twenties, and he was capped by Scotland at the late age of 33.
While player-coach at Dumbarton, Colman regularly travelled to Norway in the summer months to coach football. He was recalled to Aberdeen as coach in 1931 by Phillips’ successor, Paddy Travers. Colman’s second spell at Aberdeen was as notable as his first – he was an innovative and influential coach, spending much time and effort on players’ footwork and working on ideas such as possession football and using space. He was convinced of the importance of watching his players’ feet, and to help with this, devised the dugout – a sheltered area, set below pitch level which allowed him to observe his players’ feet as they played. He first introduced the concept at Aberdeen’s Pittodrie Stadium, making it the first football stadium to feature this innovation.The idea quickly spread through the game in Britain and further afield, and examples of dugouts at football grounds can still be seen to this day.

The Great Scot who invented the world’s best-selling Irish whiskey 


The John Jameson and Son Irish Whiskey company was formally established in 1810 when John Jameson and his son (also John Jameson) took ownership of the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin which had originally been built by his wife’s cousins the Steins in 1780. Jameson was a Scottish lawyer from Alloa in Clackmannanshire who had married Margaret Haig, a sister of the Haig brothers who owned the Haig distilleries. Margaret Haig was a first cousin of the Steins, a Scottish distilling family, also from Clackmannanshire, with significant distilling interests in Scotland and Dublin. On his marriage to Margaret Haig in 1786, John Jameson moved with his new wife to Dublin to manage the Stein’s Bow Street Distillery (which had been established in 1780) for Margaret’s Stein uncle. This explains the use of the year 1780 in Jameson marketing as the Bow Street Distillery was where Jameson Irish Whiskey was born. Portraits of John and Margaret Jameson by Sir Henry Raeburn are in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.
Originally one of the six main Dublin Whiskeys, Jameson is now distilled in Cork. In 2013, annual sales topped 4.7 million cases (56.4 million bottles). Jameson is by far the best selling Irish whiskey in the world, as it has been sold internationally since the early 19th century. The United States is the largest market for Jameson Whiskey, with consumption during 2013 up by 12%.

The Great Scot who put Scotland to poetry


Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire and various other names and epithets,[nb 1] was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.
He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) “Auld Lang Syne” is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and “Scots Wha Hae” served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include “A Red, Red Rose”, “A Man’s a Man for A’ That”, “To a Louse”, “To a Mouse”, “The Battle of Sherramuir”, “Tam o’ Shanter” and “Ae Fond Kiss”.

The Great Scot who invented the kaleidoscope 


Sir David Brewster KH PRSE FRS FSA(Scot) FSSA MICE (11 December 1781 – 10 February 1868) was a Scottish physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor, writer, historian of science and university principal.

Most noted for his contributions to the field of optics, he studied the double refraction by compression and discovered the photoelastic effect, which gave birth to the field of optical mineralogy. For his work, William Whewell dubbed him the “Father of modern experimental optics” and “the Johannes Kepler of Optics.”He is well-recognized for being the inventor of the kaleidoscope and an improved version of the stereoscope applied to photography. He called it the “lenticular stereoscope”, which was the first portable, 3D viewing device. He also invented the binocular camera, two types of polarimeters, the polyzonal lens and the lighthouse illuminator.
A prominent figure in the popularization of science, he is considered one of the founders of the British Association, of which he would be elected President in 1849. In addition, he was the editor of the 18-volume Edinburgh Encyclopædia.

The Great Scot who became the “Father of Australia”


Lachlan Macquarie, (born January 31, 1761, Ulva, Argyllshire, Scotland—died July 1, 1824, London, England) early governor of New South Wales, Australia (1810–21), who expanded opportunities for Emancipists (freed convicts) and established a balance of power with the Exclusionists (large landowners and sheep farmers).
Macquarie joined the British army as a boy and served in North America, Europe, and the West Indies between 1776 and 1784 and in India during 1788–1803 and 1805–07. He was appointed governor of New South Wales in 1809 and took office early the next year, replacing the New South Wales Corps that had overthrown the previous governor, William Bligh. He began a program of public works construction and town planning; by 1822 he had sponsored more than 200 works, many of them designed by the Emancipist architect Francis Greenway. Macquarie introduced the colony’s own currency in 1813 and helped establish its first bank in 1817. He encouraged expansion of settlement and exploration, most notably the crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813. His policy toward the Aborigines was the most liberal since that of the colony’s first governor, Arthur Phillip.

Macquarie’s belief in development based on Emancipist agriculture angered the colony’s large landowners, headed by John Macarthur, and led to a British government investigation (1819), Macquarie’s recall in 1821, and his retirement to his estate on Mull in the Inner Hebrides.

The Great Scot who founded the New York Herald


James Gordon Bennett, Sr. (September 1, 1795 – June 1, 1872) was the founder, editor and publisher of the New York Herald and a major figure in the history of American newspapers.Born to a prosperous Catholic family in Newmill, Banffshire, Scotland, at 15 Bennett entered the Catholic seminary in Aberdeen, where he remained for four years.

After leaving the seminary he read voraciously on his own and traveled throughout Scotland. In 1819 he joined a friend who was sailing to North America. After four weeks they landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Bennett briefly worked as a schoolmaster till he had enough money to sail to Portland, Maine, where he again taught school in the village of Addison, moving on to Boston by New Year’s 1820. He worked as a proofreader and bookseller before the Charleston Courier hired him to translate Spanish news reports. He moved to New York City in 1823 where he worked as a freelance paper writer and, then, assistant editor of the New York Courier and Enquirer.

In May 1835, Bennett began the Herald after years of failing to start a paper. In April 1836, it shocked readers with front–page coverage of the murder of prostitute Helen Jewett; Bennett conducted the first-ever newspaper interview for it. The Herald initiated a cash–in–advance policy for advertisers, which became the industry standard. Bennett was also at the forefront of using the latest technology to gather and report the news, and added illustrations produced from woodcuts. In 1839, Bennett was granted the first ever exclusive interview to a United States President, Martin Van Buren.
The Herald was officially independent in its politics, but endorsed William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, and John C. Frémont. Author Garry Boulard speculates that Bennett ultimately turned against Pierce after the President failed to appoint him to a much-coveted post as ambassador to France. From that point on, Bennett consistently lambasted Pierce on both his front and editorial page, often calling him “Poor Pierce.” Bennett supported James Buchanan as tensions rose over slavery. He endorsed John C. Breckinridge for the 1860 presidential campaign, then shifted to John Bell. He promoted George B. McClellan in 1864, but endorsed no candidate. Although he opposed Abraham Lincoln, Bennett backed the Union, then took the lead to turn the president into a martyr after his assassination. He favored most of Andrew Johnson’s Reconstruction proposals.

By the time Bennett turned control of the Herald over to his son James Gordon Bennett Jr. in 1866, it had the highest circulation in America. However, under the younger Bennetts’ stewardship, the paper declined, and, after his death, it was merged with its arch-rival, the New York Tribune.
He died in New York, on June 1, 1872. James Bennett is interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

The Great Scot who was, in effect, the first Prime Minister of France and who founded the Banque de France


John Law, (baptized April 21, 1671, Edinburgh, Scotland—died March 21, 1729, Venice, Italy) Scottish monetary reformer and originator of the “Mississippi scheme” for the development of French territories in America.
Law studied mathematics, commerce, and political economy in London. After killing an adversary in a duel, he fled to Amsterdam, where he studied banking operations. A decade later he returned to Scotland and wrote his best-known work, Money and Trade Considered, with a Proposal for Supplying the Nation with Money (1st ed., 1705; 2nd ed., 1720). He submitted his banking reform plan to the Scottish parliament, but it was rejected.

After several other rejections, Law received permission in 1716 to try his plan in France. The French government was heavily in debt as a result of the extensive wars of Louis XIV, who died in 1715; and Law’s program, which promised to reduce the public debt, held obvious appeal. With Law, however, lowering the public debt was somewhat incidental. He shared with his mercantilist contemporaries a belief that money is a creative force in economic development and that an increase in its quantity would stimulate a larger national product and would increase national power. He differed from other mercantilists in looking upon a central bank as an agency for manufacturing money in the form of bank notes that would circulate in place of gold and silver, which were scarce.

In Paris, Law founded a bank with authority to issue notes. Later he combined with his bank the Louisiana Company, which had exclusive privileges to develop the vast French territories in the Mississippi Valley of North America. Law’s plan worked well for a few years but ran afoul of speculative complications and political intrigue, neither of which were directly attributable to Law. As the author of the program, popularly known as the “Mississippi Bubble,” Law was responsible and was forced to flee France in 1720. He died in Venice a poor man.

The Great Scot who created The Wind In The Willows


Kenneth Grahame, (born March 8, 1859, Edinburgh, Scot.—died July 6, 1932, Pangbourne, Berkshire, Eng.) author of The Wind in the Willows (1908), one of the English classics of children’s literature. Its animal characters—principally Mole, Rat, Badger, and Toad—combine captivating human traits with authentic animal habits. It is a story that adults have enjoyed as much as children.Orphaned at an early age, Grahame went to live with his grandmother in England and attended St. Edward’s School, Oxford. Money was lacking for him to go to the university; hence his family guided him into a career at the Bank of England, with which he stayed until ill health compelled him to retire in 1907. Meanwhile he contributed articles to such journals as the St. James Gazette and the Yellow Book and published collections of sketches, stories, and essays—Pagan Papers (1893), The Golden Age (1895), and Dream Days (1898)—all of which reveal his sensitive understanding of childhood.

The Wind in the Willows was dramatized by A.A. Milne as Toad of Toad Hall (1930) and became a frequently performed Christmas play.

The Great Scot who invented the rain mac 


Charles Macintosh was born in 1766. His father originally came from the Highlands, moving to Glasgow to set up a factory in Dennistoun in 1777 to manufacture a violet-red dying powder made from lichens (cudbear).Macintosh had a strong interest in chemistry. In 1818, while analysing the by-products of a works making coal gas, he discovered dissolved indiarubber. He joined two sheets of fabric together with this solution, allowed them to dry, and discovered that the new material could not be penetrated by water – the first rainproof cloth!

Together with chemist George Hancock, Macintosh solved many of the problems involved in reliably producing waterproofed sheets and coats.

The material was first introduced in 1824 as Mackintosh (with an additional “k”). Macintosh founded his own waterproofing company in Glasgow in 1834 – mainly because to the opposition he faced from tailors, who wanted nothing to do with his new cloth – but moved to Manchester in 1840 to exploit the material further. The factory is now owned by the Dunlop Rubber Company.

Although Macintosh is best known for his eponymously-titled coats, he was a brilliant chemist with achievements in many different fields. He invented a revolutionary bleaching powder (along with Charles Tennant), devised a way of using carbon gases to convert malleable iron to steel by a short-cut method, and worked out a hot-blast process with James Neilson to produce high quality cast iron.

Macintosh was also associated with David Dale in the making of turkey-red dyeing in Scotland, and established the first Scottish alum (a double sulphate of aluminium and potassium) works.