Unquestionably Kincardine's most famous son, James Dewar was born on the 20th September 1842 in the building that is now the Unicorn Hotel in Excise Street.
This transcription is taken from the booklet “Tulliallan: Four lads o’ pairts: Sir James Wylie, Sir James Dewar, Robert Maule J.P., Sir Robert Maule” researched and written by Rev. William Meiklejohn, M.A and originally printed by How & Blackhall, 77 Marygate, Berwick-upon-Tweed. Please note: this work is the exclusive copyright of Rev. William Meiklejohn and Kincardine Local History Group and has taken considerable (unpaid!) work to research, collate, type, edit, publish and recreate in electronic format. We are happy for anyone to use this information for their own personal research and ask that you contact us to let us know, as we are always pleased to hear from those who have enjoyed our work. If you are looking to reference or quote from this work for anything other than personal research please contact us first for permission; we would be delighted to assist you, but do ask that you acknowledge Rev. Meiklejohn and the Kincardine Local History Group as contributors in your own work.
Rev. Meiklejohn was born 1st June 1913 at Wick, Scotland, son of Donald Meiklejohn and Elizabeth Langlands Robertson. He attended Pulteneytown Academy, Wick High School from 1932-7, M.A.; licensed by Presb. of Caithness May 1937; assit. Edinburgh Stenhouse 1937; ord. and ind. Inverallochy and Rathen East 26 October 1938; trans. and ind. 16 February 1943. He transferred from Tulliallan to Rosneath St. Modan's 1st November 1972, retired 31st October 1978 and passed away on the 6th April 1997. He published "The Prophet of Hope" in 1949.
“To the dear memory of my Father and Mother,
D.M. and E.L.M.
who did justly, loved mercy and walked
humbly with their God.
(Micah VI, v. 8)
In gratitude and love.”
These for my friends in Tulliallan. In preparing these papers for publication I have the pleasant duty of thanking those who have been my helpers: the gentlemen of the Scottish Records Office (Historical Search Room) and of The National Library of Scotland, who brought me the documents and books I wished to consult, for their unfailing courtesy; the Librarian of The Edinburgh District Council for allowing me to read the minutes of the Dick Veterinary College; Dr John Wilson, Lochmaben, for the three illustrations to the paper on Sir James Wylie; the Trustees of The National Portrait Gallery and of The National Library of Scotland for permission to use the portrait of Sir James Dewar and those of Mr Robert and Sir Robert Maule; and Mr William Wolsey for providing me with a photograph of the premises of Robert Maule and Son. I am also to the rector and Archivist of Dollar Academy for their courteous reply to my queries.
To say “thank you” to Messrs How & Blackhall who have put their knowledge and skill as printers at my disposal, in this as in previous publications, is more than a polite gesture; it is an expression of genuine appreciation of the helpfulness and attention which have made it a pleasure to have been associated with them.
Of the inadequacy and imperfections of this necessarily brief account of these four eminent sons of Tulliallan I am well aware and with the ancient writer would say, “If I have written well that is what I myself desired, but if poorly and indifferently this is all I could attain unto”.
Lavoisier Medal of The French Academy. The first occasion on which it was awarded to a British subject.
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Jubilee Medals were awarded to eminent citizens in various walks of life. One of those so recognised was Professor James Dewar (1897).
Hodgkins Gold Medal of Smithsonian Institute. U.S.A. The first time it was awarded for scientific work to anyone outside the United States - conferred upon Professor Dewar "for his researches on the liquefaction of air". (1899).
Appointed The Bakerian Lecturer to The Royal Society for 1901. The subject of his lecture was - "The Nadir of Temperature and allied problems".
La Societa Italiana della Scienze, the President of which was Professor Cannizzaro, had awarded The Matteucci Medal for 1906 to Sir James Dewar. The medal is given for the most important work in physics whether Italian or foreign - The Times, July 1906.
On 11th February 1899 at Marlborough House, the Prince of Wales in the presence of the Council of The Royal Society of Arts presented The Albert Medal to Sir James Dewar for "his investigations into the liquefaction of gases and the properties of matter at low temperatures, investigation which have resulted in the production of the lowest temperatures yet reached, the use of vacuum vessels for the thermal isolation and the application of cooled charcoal to the separation of gaseous mixtures and to the production of high vacua". - The Times.
The Academia dei Lincei elected Sir James Dewar a Foreign Member, with the approval of His Majesty the King of Italy (1910).
Awarded The Silver Medal of The Chemical Industry of Great Britain, "in recognition of his conspicuous services which by his research work in both pure and applied science he has rendered to The Chemical Industry" (1918).
"The Franklin Medal has been awarded to Sir James Dewar by The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, in recognition of his numerous and most important contributions to our knowledge of physical and chemical phenomena and his great skill and inventive genius in attacking and solving chemical and physical problems of the first magnitude" - The Times, Apri 1919.
The Earl of Reading, The British Ambassador, was invited by The Franklin Institute to receive the medal on Sir James's behalf. It was the first award of the medal to a British subject. In handling over the medal Principal Kellar spoke of Sir James's "unparalleled record of industry and achievement in pure science and of his two most famous inventions, the Dewar flask and, with Sir Frederick Abel, cordite, which had been a most potent factor in fighting successfully the War, 1914-18.