Lord Kelvin's sailing yacht 'Lalla Rookh', c 1860-1900.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) was born William Thomson and was educated at Glasgow and Cambridge. He was Profesor of Natural Philosophy (Physics) at the University of Glasgow for 53 years. Kelvin was a pioneer of thermodynamics and electromagnetic theory. He also invented the mirror galvanometer and the siphon recorder, for sending and receiving signals, and directed work on the first succesful transatlantic cable telegraph (completed in 1866), which brought him considerable wealth. He was knighted in 1866, and created a peer, Baron Kelvin of Largs, in 1892.