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Robert Caird

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Robert Caird (1852-1915) Engineer of Caird and Co

1852 Born in Greenock, son of James Tennant Caird

1888 With his brothers Patrick, William and Arthur took over the management of Caird and Co on the death of their father.

1915 Obituary [1]

ROBERT CAIRD died suddenly on November 30, 1915, at his residence at Greenock, having been at business at the works of his firm - Messrs. Caird & Co. - up to the day previous to his death.

He was the fourth son of the late Mr. James T. Caird, and, following the profession with which the family name has been associated, Mr. Caird rose to a position of distinction. He became President of the Institution of Shipbuilders and Engineers in Scotland, and in 1900 another notable honour he received was the bestowal of the degree of Doctor of Laws by Glasgow University. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Dr. Caird was not merely a practical man. Following the earlier traditions of Scottish students, he went to the Continent to complete his education. In the course of several years' residence abroad, he acquired an intimate and extensive acquaintance with the language and literature of France, Italy, and Germany, and was also privileged to carry on important investigations in the domains of history and art under the direction of Mr. Ruskin. His labours in these directions were recognized in 1895, when he was created a Knight of the Crown of Italy. His papers, lectures, and addresses on subjects in which he was interested displayed not merely solid erudition, but marked literary charm.

In 1910 Dr. Caird delivered the Watt Lecture, taking for his subject "James Watt's Contribution to the Advancement of Engineering." He was for a term President of Greenock Philosophical Society, and was also associated with many other institutions and societies in the town. He took an active part in the movement which resulted in the building of the Watt Memorial School, and did much to advance the scientific side of education in Greenock and the West of Scotland generally. Dr. Caird was an original member of the Institute of Metals.

1917 Obituary [2]

ROBERT CAIRD, LLD. (Glasgow), died at Greenock on the 1st December, 1915.

Born at Greenock on the 26th May, 1852, he was the third son of the late Mr. J. T. Caird, founder of the firm of Caird and Company, engineers and shipbuilders. After leaving Glasgow University, he entered his father's works as an apprentice, remaining there for 11 years until 1881, when he went to the Maritime Construction Company, Havre, and subsequently to the Pullman Company, Chicago, to obtain further experience.

In 1888 he became Managing Director of Caird and Company, Limited. He continued to occupy this position until his death, devoting special attention to the engineering department. As a shipbuilder his work was well known, and was specially recognized by the University of Glasgow, when it conferred upon him in 1901 the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a Past-President of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland.

In 1910 he delivered the James Watt Memorial Lecture, and was one of the founders and chief supporters of the Watt Memorial School. He also took a keen and active interest in various local institutions. His leisure hours were occupied with literary and artistic studies, and it is probable that his cultivated mind, artistic taste, happy wit and clear style would have secured for him as brilliant a career among men of letters, had he chosen that path, as he made for himself in the scientific world.

Dr. Caird was elected a Member of The Institution on the 3rd April, 1900.

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