Robert St I Rung And His Family

Michael Stirling {grandfather)

A farmer of Dunblane, Perthshire, Scotland. Reputed to have invented the first rotary threshing machine in 1756 or 17.58. Built a water mill.

Robert Stirling (uncle)

Assistant minister at Mcthvcn in 1763, later minister at Crieff. Died in 17X7. His son, Michael, born in 1780, also entered the ministry.

Peter Stirling (father)

Peter Stirling was a farmer of Cloag, near Methven. Perthshire. He had two sons, Robert and James.

Robert Stirling

Robert Stirling was born in Cloag on October 25, 1790. He studied at the University of Glasgow, as is mentioned in the Pastie, but also at Edinburgh University (1805-6 and 1808). In 1805 he took classes in Latin and Greek, and in 1806 he studied advanced Latin and Greek, logic and mathematics, metaphysics and rhetoric. There is no record of his classes in 1808 and it is possible that it is not the same Robert Stirling who attended in that year, as owing to a change in the system of keeping records at that time his place of origin is not given. Robert Stirling was 15 years old when he went to Edinburgh. This age. or even younger, was quite normal for entering the university in those days.

Robert Stirling was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Dunbarton on July 4. 1815. He was presented to the second charge at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, by the Commissioner of the Duke and Duchess of Portland, and was ordained to the Ministry on September 19. 1816. He immediately became second or junior minister of Laigh Kirk, Kilmarnock, and two months later lie applied for his first patent for the Stirling air engine arid the heat regenerator—or economises as he himself called it. The patent assigned to him was No 4081 of 1816.

On July 10, 1819, he married Jane, the eldest daughter of William Rankine, a wine merchant at Galston. and five years later he had been 'translated' to Galston as minister of the church there. In 1827, and again in 1840. he and his brother James re-patented the air engine.

Early in 1840 the University of St Andrews, the oldest of Scottish


for his additional scicntific achievements, as is stated in some places. Without any doubt this was a glorious day for the minister of Galston, who nonetheless remained in the village of his ministry, gaining widespread respect by the quality of his life and work—a quality shown by his care for the victims of the 1848-1849 cholera epidemic.

Ill-health at last lorccd him from the pulpit in 1876, and he died in 1878.

Patrick, William, Robert and Jantes (sons)

Four of Robert Stirling's sons were engineers» and all made their mark in the engineering world, Patrick, born in 1820, gained fame as a locomotive engineer with the Great Northern Railway Company. His famous eight feet single locomotives have been photographed and de-scribed by engineers from all parts of the world. In August. 1895. these engines took an Aberdeen express over the 1.88 miles between London and York in 188 minutes. William, born in 1822, and Robert, born in 1824; were engineers in Peru. James, the youngest son. born in 1835, was a locomotive engineer with the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company, lie introduced many improvements in locomotive power.

James Stirling (brother)

James Stirling, the younger brother of the inventor, originally also studied for the Church at Glasgow and at Edinburgh. Earlier, however, he had directed his attentions towards mechanical engineering, and he eventually achieved local renown as an engineer. In 1827 improvements to the air engine were patented (No 5465) jointly by him and his brother. An engine based on Patent No 8652, of about 25 kW (35 horsepower), was constructed by him at the Dundee Foundry Company.

(From The Stirling Engine. J. Zarinchang, 1972; further fascinating details of the life and works of Robert Stirling are given by Edclman (1969).)

This book is dedicated to all who have contributed in the renaissance of the Stirling engine over the past forty years, especially workers at the Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven, and in particular. Dr. R. J. Meijer and Dr. J. W.

Robert Stirling Engine

REV DR. ROBERT STIRLING (1790-1 MR) Minister, Church of Scotland, ami Inventor Kxtruorilinnire.

Wrote in 1876 These imperfections have. been In a great mm*»«' remtnetl hy time ami especially by the genius of /in- distinguished Bessemer. If Bessemer Iron or steel had been JcnowM thirty /it«' or forty years iigo there is scarce a doubt that the an rapine would have been a zreai success.. It remains (or some skilled and ambitions mechanist in a future aye to repeal if u/idor it»r»»;ci frtt'Ourufcfc Circumsianccs and iviifi cornpterc success.

Photouraoh of n onintina of Robert Stirlinn in

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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