A postcard showing the statue of John Elder (1824-1869) in Elder Park, Govan, in 1906. Elder was co-founder of the shipbuilding and marine engineering firm Randolph, Elder and Co in 1852, the firm credited with the invention and development of the compound steam engine in 1854. The engine enhanced the fuel efficiency of steam ships, greatly increasing their range. In 1858 they bought Napier's Old Yard in Govan and in 1864 opened a new shipyard nearby at Fairfield. The firm subsequently became John Elder & Co (in 1868), and (after Elder's death the following year) the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co.
The bronze statue was erected by public subscription and sculpted by Sir J E Boehm in 1887-1888. Elder leans on a model of a compound steam engine. In 1885 John's wife Isabella Elder (1828-1905) had gifted the 37 acre park to the people of Govan.
Reference: Mitchell Library GC Postcards
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
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