Click for Bookshop

Charles Baird


1766 - 1843

Engineer, who build Russia's first steamship. Born in Westertown (Falkirk), Baird was the son of the surveyor to the Forth & Clyde Canal and elder brother of Hugh Baird (1770 - 1827) who succeeded to the same post. Baird gained an apprenticeship in the Carron Iron Works in 1782, and within three years was a supervisor in the artillery department. In 1786 he was sent to Russia to assist in the establishment of a cannon foundry for the Russian Navy. He settled in St. Petersburg and established a successful business which specialised in the manufacture of steam-driven machinery. Most notably he built Russia's first steamship, Elizaveta, and for many years had a monopoly on steamship routes from St. Petersburg. Baird also built bridges and architectural ironwork.

He died in Russia and lies buried in the Smolensk Lutheran Cemetery.


Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better