Hugh Baird

1770 - 1827

Civil engineer. Born in Kelvinhead (North Lanarkshire), Baird succeeded his father as surveyor to the Forth & Clyde Canal (1807). In 1813, he proposed an extension, which would become the Union Canal and run into Edinburgh carrying coal and lime to the city. After much discussion and some controversy Thomas Telford (1757 - 1834) was asked to adjudicate this scheme and alternatives proposed by John Rennie (1761 - 1821) and Robert Stevenson (1772 - 1815). He decided in favour of Baird, who was appointed supervising engineer when work began in 1818.

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