Your University, One Photo at a Time

James B. Thomson

James B. ThomsonOn the side of the Thomson Building is the above inscription, which reads:

This extension of the Anatomical Department was erected by the trustees of James B Thomson from funds entrusted to them for distribution amongst such charitable and benevolent or educational institutions in Glasgow or the West of Scotland as they themselves may select.

There have been quite a few people called James Thomson at the University of Glasgow, and the two most famous ones, a father and son, died in 1849 and 1892. The father was an Irish mathematician, notable for the formation of the thermodynamics school at Glasgow University, and the son was and engineer and physicist at the University. They are both somewhat overshadowed by William Thomson, the former’s son and the latter’s younger brother, who became to be better known as Lord Kelvin.

Then again, the James B. Thomson mentioned above could be another James Thomson altogether.

[Sept-Oct 2010 Poll: What societies have you been a member of at Glasgow University?]
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© 2010

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