Apr 192016
 

General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YY

General Register House

James Tytler, who made the first successful balloon ascent in Britain in Edinburgh, exhibited and tested his ‘Grand Edinburgh Fire Balloon’  in the uncompleted dome of Robert Adam’s Register House in 1784 before making a successful public ascent at Comely Garden on 6 August.  Tytler was a multi-talented individual who had made a living at various times as a surgeon, writer, publisher, composer and poet before his foray into aeronautics. He had to flee to Ireland in 1792 after being arrested for producing subversive pamphlets, before emigrating to America a few years later.

The General Register House houses the National Records of Scotland and is open to the public.

James Tytler (1745–1804).

James Tytler (1745–1804).

James Tytler's 'Edinburgh Fire Balloon', 1784.

James Tytler’s ‘Edinburgh Fire Balloon’, 1784.

Find out more

Share #curiousedinburgh:
Apr 192016
 

10 Coates Crescent, Edinburgh EH3 7AL

David Brewster's house

This house was Sir David Brewster’s Edinburgh residence until his death in 1868. Brewster is today best known as the inventor of the kaleidoscope. His invention could have made him a very wealthy man, but he neglected to patent it soon enough, and so earned very little  from his invention. He was also a pioneer photographer and friend of William Henry Fox Talbot. Brewster made important contributions to the science of optics, but his reputation suffered because he continued to champion the particle theory of light after the wave theory had been accepted by most other physicists.

No public access.

David Brewster (1781–1868).

David Brewster (1781–1868).

Find out more

Share #curiousedinburgh:
Apr 172016
 

57 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JU

Dawson Fyers Duckworth Turner's house

Dawson Fyers Duckworth Turner was a physician who had worked at a number of Edinburgh hospitals. He was a pioneer of the development of x-rays in medicine. Beginning in 1896, only one year after x-rays had been discovered by Roentgen, he set up an experimental x-ray apparatus at his house in George Square. He used this to demonstrate the power of x-rays to show bones and foreign objects through soft tissues. Not realising how dangerous the rays were, his experiments cost him three fingers and an eye.

No public access.

Find out more

 

Share #curiousedinburgh:
Apr 172016
 

Greyfriars Cemetery, Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QQ

Tomb of Colin Maclaurin

Colin Maclaurin was an important figure of the first years of the Scottish Enlightenment.  He was an early champion of Newtonianism, who was given the chair of mathematics at the University of Edinburgh in 1725 at Isaac Newton’s own recommendation. Maclaurin and a number of like-minded colleagues made Edinburgh into what was probably the most important centre for the dissemination of Newtonian ideas in Britain after the death of Newton himself. He famously defended Newton’s calculus against the philosophical objections of Bishop Berkeley.

 

Colin Maclaurin (1698–1746).

Colin Maclaurin (1698–1746).

Find out more

Share #curiousedinburgh: