Lord Kelvin, British physicist

Lord Kelvin, British physicist

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), British physicist, with one of his binnacle compasses. Lord Kelvin, born William Thomson and made a baron in 1892, was a professor at Glasgow University from 1846-1899. As well as being one of the pre-eminent scientists of the day, Thomson also designed compasses and other navigational equipment to sell to the British Admiralty. From the 1870s, Kelvin worked with the optical instrument maker James White (1824-1884). The manufacturer's name, Kelvin and James White Limited (lower right), refers to the company formed by Kelvin in 1900. Both Glasgow and London are mentioned on the label; a London office was opened circa 1904. Photograph published in The Life of William Thomson (volume II, 1910).

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