'Sir William Thomson', 1892.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photographic portrait of William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), taken by W. and D. Downey in 1892. Thomson was the son of the Chair of Mathematics at Glasgow University, and at the age of ten he began his studies there. At 21, Thomson graduated from Cambridge. In 1846 Thomson became Profesor of Natural Philosophy in Glasgow, a post he held until 1899. His findings were instrumental in laying submarine cables acros the Atlantic, and in developing an absolute scale of temperature, the 'Kelvin scale', in 1848. This photograph appears in 'The Cabinet Portrait Gallery' series of celebrity portraits and biographies published in the 1890s. The series includes royalty, actors, academics and authors.