Linton, Hercules

Linton, Hercules
SUBJECT AREA: Ports and shipping
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b. 1 January 1836 Inverbervie, Kincardineshire, Scotland
d. 15 May 1900 Inverbervie, Kincardineshire, Scotland
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Scottish naval architect and shipbuilder; designer of the full-rigged ship Cutty Sark.
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Linton came from a north-east Scottish family with shipbuilding connections. After education at Arbuthnott and then Arbroath Academy, he followed his father by becoming an apprentice at the Aberdeen shipyard of Alex Hall in January 1855. Thus must have been an inspiring time for him as the shipyards of Aberdeen were at the start of their rise to world renown. Hall's had just introduced the hollow, lined Aberdeen Bow which heralded the great years of the Aberdeen Clippers. Linton stayed on with Hall's until around 1863, when he joined the Liverpool Under-writers' Register as a ship surveyor; he then worked for similar organizations in different parts of England and Scotland. Early in 1868 Linton joined in partnership with William Dundas Scott and the shipyard of Scott and Linton was opened on the banks of the River Leven, a tributary of the Clyde, at Dumbarton. The operation lasted for about three years until bankruptcy forced closure, the cause being the age-old shipbuilder's problem of high capital investment with slow cash flow. Altogether, nine ships were built, the most remarkable being the record-breaking composite-built clipper ship Cutty Sark. At the time of the closure the tea clipper was in an advanced state of outfitting and was towed across the water to Denny's shipyard for completion. Linton worked for a while with Gourlay Brothers of Dundee, and then with the shipbuilders Oswald Mordaunt, of Woolston near Southampton, before returning to the Montrose area in 1884. His wife died the following year and thereafter Linton gradually reduced his professional commitments.
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Further Reading
Robert E.Brettle, 1969, The Cutty Sark, Her Designer and Builder. Hercules Linton 1836–1900, Cambridge: Heffer.
Frank C.G.Carr, "The restoration of the Cutty Sark", Transactions of the Royal Institution
of Naval Architects 108:193–216.
Fred M.Walker, 1984, Song of the Clyde. A History of Clyde Shipbuilding, Cambridge: PSL.
FMW

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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