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Calendar of Industrial Pioneers


October 29, 1874. John Laird died.—One of the chief pioneers of iron shipbuilding, Laird, who was born in Greenock in 1805, was the son of William Laird, who established a boiler making works at Birkenhead. As a partner with his father, in 1829 he built an iron lighter of 60 tons, and in 1833 built the iron paddle steamer Lady Lansdowne. Laird also built the first iron vessel in the Royal Navy, and in 1839 built the Nemesis for the East India Company, the first iron steamer to carry a gun and to steam round the Cape. The famous Birkenhead Iron Works were established by him.

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