Local History

Articles available in this section:


A number of people either born in Kincardine or having moved in to the town later in life made a significant impact on world history.
Probably the most widely known person with an association to Kincardine is James Dewar, the son of a local Inn Keeper who went on to become one of the most important chemists of his generation and, in the process invented one of the most useful devices too – the vacuum flask, better known as the Thermos. But there are a number of other people such as Admiral Lord Keith and Sir James Wylie who, while less well known than Dewar, had just as profound an influence in their own areas of specialty.
Please select a person for more information:

The text about Sir James Dewar is taken from Rev William Meiklejohn’s excellent Four Lads O’ Pairts book which is now available to purchase as a print book or digital ebook. It presents comprehensive biographies of four remarkable people born in Kincardine:

  • Sir James Wylie (1768 – 1854) – surgeon to the three Czars of Russia, organiser of the Russian Army’s medical service, and founder of the Medical Colleges of Moscow and St Petersburgh.
  • Sir James Dewar (1842 – 1923) – President of the Chemical Society and Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution (a post held previously by Michael Faraday). He was the first person to liquify oxygen and inventor of the Dewar flask, later commercialised by Thermos as the Thermos Flask.
  • Robert Maule J.P. (1832 – 1901) and his son Sir Robert (1852 – 1931) – successful entrepreneurs who established and ran ‘Maules’, one of the most successful early department stores on Edinburgh’s famous Princes Street. Today their Edinburgh sotre is home to House of Fraser.

As well as the print version, the book is currently available for Kindle e-readers directly from Amazon, or in other formats such as PDF via the Leanpub.com online bookstore and 100% of profits from the sale of the book go to help fund the work Kincardine Local History Group does.

The Leanpub.com bookstore allows you to choose the purchase price you want, so it’s a great way of making a donation if any of the information on our website has proven useful and you’d like to say thanks. By purchasing it you will be directly supporting the preservation of Kincardine’s local history for the people in the town and future generations, as well as those who trace their family roots back to Kincardine. Thanks in advance for all your support!

For more information about any of the topics contained in this web page please contact: Kincardine Local History Group