THE head of the shipbuilding and engineering firm of A. & J. Inglis is a
native of Glasgow. His father was the late Anthony Inglis, founder of the
business in 1837. He entered Glasgow University at the age of fourteen, took a
considerable part of the arts course, and gained distinction in mathematics. He
studied also natural philosophy and engineering. He served a regular
apprenticeship in the firm's engine works in Warroch Street, spending some time
in each department, and taking a special interest in designing, to whose old
"rule of thumb" methods he added the advantage of scientific knowledge. As a
keen yachtsman, he has made the designing of yachts his special hobby, and in
1897 the model of Safa-el-Bahr, designed and built for the Khedive at the
Pointhouse yard, attracted the special admiration of yachting experts.
Whitehall Foundry has a long and honourable record. The engines for the tug Clyde, in 1850, were its first marine contract of any consequence; the Tasmanian, pioneer screw steamer in the Atlantic mail service, was engined by this firm in 1855; and Pointhouse Shipbuilding yard, acquired in 1862, has constantly added to the reputation of the firm. At the two establishments over 2,000 men are employed in busy times.
Outside his business Dr. Inglis has found time for duties and recreations. He has been a member of Lord Goschen's Naval Boilers' Committee, and of the Committee on Torpedo-Boat Destroyers, a Trustee of the Clyde Navigation and Clyde Lighthouses, and a Director of the North British Railway Company. In his youth, as already said, he was a keen yachtsman, and of later years music has been his hobby. With his family he forms one of an instrumental quintette which studies music of the higher sort; and as Chairman of the Glasgow Choral and Orchestral Union he did much to make that institution a business success. He has travelled widely in Europe, America, and Egypt. Among literary studies also, he read a paper on the "Apprentice Question" before the Glasgow Philosophical Society in 1804, and another on the "Workmen's Compensation Act," of which he strongly disapproved, to the Civic Society in 1897.
His work has been widely recognised. The Khedive conferred on him the dignity of Commander of the Order of Osmanieh, and Glasgow University made him LL.D. In 1893 he was made President of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland, in 1900 President of the Institute of Marine Engineers, London, and he is at present a Vice-President of the Institute of Naval Architects, and a Member of Lloyds Technical Sub-Committee, and of the Advisory Committee to the Board of Trade.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)