Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,516 pages of information and 233,947 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Ironmaster and Engineer (1779-1855)
1779 Born October 19, in Glasgow, son of Walter Neilson iron master of Govan Ironworks.
Elder brother of James Beaumont Neilson (1792-1865).
Received a classical education but adopted the profession of his father
Founder/Owner of Oakbank Iron Works Glasgow.
1805 Married Margaret Baird in St Quivox and Newton, Ayr
He built some iron steamboats for canal navigation, and then proposed to build a seagoing boat, but could get no one to join him in the project.
Nothing daunted, he carried out his plan on his own account, building the Fairy Queen. She was built in 1831, and plied as a passenger steamer on the Largs route. The success of this vessel soon attracted imitators. 
1825/31 At his works designed and constructed an iron steamer which, following the PS Aaron Manby was one of the first iron vessels that went to sea.
1836 Established Summerlee Iron Works at Monklands
1851 John Neilson 70, J.P., engineer, lived in Oak Bank House, Glasgow, with Catherine Neilson 32
1855 October 25, died in Glasgow