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Alexander Bain

He thought above himself and so he helped to raise a new world industry.

This memorial to Alexander Bain lies in the village of Watten on the road next to the local village hall.

Alexander Bain was born on 22 November1810 and had a twin sister Margaret.  He died in 1877 having left a legacy of invention that has aided communication right up to the modern age.

His work on electric clocks and telegraphs.   Despite Bain's superior skills as a telegraph engineer he fared badly when dealing with the Morse Company in competition perhaps due to lack of funds that were available to his competitors.

Bain wrote two books  - A short History of the Electric clock and A Treatise on Numerous Applications of Electrical Science tot he Useful Arts.  He worked in Edinburgh, London and the USA.  From very humble beginnings and leaving school at the age of 12 he nevertheless was able to learn the intricacies of clock and watch making and think about the possibilities brought about by electricity to improve communications.  He is regarded as the inventor of the fax machine and although many of his ideas for telegraphic communication have been superceded his work and ideas are widely regarded as having laid many of the foundations of our modern systems.
more information on Alexander Bain can be found in the book -
Inventors and engineers of Caithness published by Whittles Publishing.  See Caithness Books