David Stevenson (engineer)

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David Stevenson
FRSE FRSSA
black and white engraving of a portrait of David Stevenson
Born (1815-01-11)11 January 1815
Died 17 July 1886(1886-07-17) (aged 71)
Nationality Scottish
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Occupation Lighthouse engineer
Employer Northern Lighthouse Board
Spouse(s)
Elizabeth Mackay (m. 1840)
Children David Alan Stevenson
Charles Alexander Stevenson
Jane Stevenson
Parent(s) Robert Stevenson (father)
Jean Smith (mother)
Relatives Thomas Stevenson (brother)
Alan Stevenson (brother)

David Stevenson MICE FRSE FRSSA (11 January 1815 – 17 July 1886) was a Scottish lighthouse designer, who designed over 30 lighthouses in and around Scotland, and helped continue the dynasty of lighthouse engineering founded by his father.

Life[edit]

He was born on 11 January 1815 at 2 Baxters Place[1] at the top of Leith Walk in Edinburgh, the son of Hean Smith and engineer Robert Stevenson. He was brother of the lighthouse engineers Alan and Thomas Stevenson. He was educated at the High School in Edinburgh then studied at the University of Edinburgh. In 1838 he became a partner in his father's (and uncle's) firm of R & A Stevenson.

In 1844 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh his proposer being David Milne-Home.

In 1853 he moved to the Northern Lighthouse Board.[2]

Between 1854 and 1880 he designed many lighthouses, all with his brother Thomas. In addition he helped Richard Henry Brunton design lighthouses for Japan, inventing a novel method for allowing them to withstand earthquakes. His sons David Alan Stevenson and Charles Alexander Stevenson continued his work after his death, building nearly thirty further lighthouses.

Non-lighthouse engineering included the Edinburgh and Leith Sewerage Scheme and the widening of North Bridge in Edinburgh.[3]

In 1868/9 he served as President of the Royal Scottish Society of the Arts.[2]

He died in North Berwick on 17 July 1886. He is buried in Dean Cemetery in west Edinburgh.[4] The grave lies on the north wall of the original cemetery backing onto the first northern extension.

Publications[edit]

  • Sketch of the Civil Engineering of North america (1838)
  • Canal and River Engineering (c.1870)
  • The Life of Robert Stevenson (1878)
Baxters Place, Edinburgh
The grave of David Stevenson, Dean Cemetery

Family[edit]

In 1840 he married Elizabeth Mackay (1816-1871). Their children included Charles Alexander Stevenson and David Alan Stevenson. His daughter Jane Stevenson (d.1909) married William Mackintosh, Lord Kyllachy.[2]

His nephew was Robert Louis Stevenson.

Lighthouses designed by David Stevenson[edit]

References[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]