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Thomas Stevenson


1818 - 1887

Engineer to the Board of Northern Lighthouses. Born in Edinburgh, he was educated at the High School in the city. It was not until 1838 that he joined the family firm. He went on to invent a new and much improved illumination system for lighthouses, and also the Stevenson Screen, which is still used as a stable container for meteorological instruments.

Thomas was the youngest son of engineer Robert Stevenson (1772 - 1850), and father of the author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) who, to the great disappointment of his father, showed no interest in engineering.

With his brother David (1815-86), he was involved in building lighthouses at: Whalsay Skerries (1854), Out Skerries (1854), Muckle Flugga (1854), Davaar (1854), Usinish (1857), South Roma (1857), Kyleakin (1857), Ornsay (1857), Sound of Mull (1857), Cantick Head (1858), Bressay (1858), Ruvaal (1859), Corran Point (1860), Fladda (1860), McArthur's Head (1861), St Abb's Head (1862), Butt of Lewis (1862), Holborn Head (1862), Monach (1864), Skervuile (1865), Auskerry (1866), Lochindaal (1869), Scurdie Ness (1870), Ru Stoer (Stour Head) (1870), Dubh Artach (1872), Turnberry (1873), Chicken Rock (1875) and Holy Island (1877 and 1880).

With his nephew, another David (1854 - 1938), he built further lighthouses at: Fidra (1885), Oxcar (1886) and Ailsa Craig (1886).


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