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Daniel (Dane) Sinclair

Inventor. Sinclair was born in Wick. While an engineer with the National Telephone Company, based in Glasgow, he patented the first automatic telephone switchboard. Although not nearly as sophisticated as the system invented in 1891 by Almon B. Stowger in Kansas City (USA), Sinclair's system was being used in Glasgow in 1883.

By 1911, Sinclair had risen to become Engineer-in-Chief of the National Telephone Company, shortly before it was taken over by the Post Office. He left to become General Manager of the BI & H Cable Company, but quickly helped his new employer to launch a new venture - the Automatic Telephone Manufacturing Company - of which Sinclair became managing director in 1912.

One of Sinclair's original systems survives in the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.


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