Definitions for fairbairn, sir william

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  1. Fairbairn, Sir William

    an eminent engineer, born at Kelso; served an apprenticeship in N. Shields, and in 1817 started business in Manchester, where he came to the front as a builder of iron ships; improved upon Robert Stephenson's idea of a tubular bridge, and built upwards of 1000 of these; introduced iron shafts into cotton mills, and was employed by Government to test the suitability of iron for purposes of defence; created a baronet in 1869 (1789-1874).

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