Famous Scots
- William Murdoch (1754-1839)

Born in Ayrshire, by trade Murdoch was a millwright and was at one time an associate of James Watt. He was a prolific inventor, creating a steam-driven tricycle, a steam cannon and a worm-driven cylinder boring machine and underwater paint for ships. He spent 20 years in Cornwall (and changed his name to Murdock to suit the local pronunciation).

But he is best known for his invention of gas lighting, using gas made from coal. He lit his own house in Redruth, Cornwall with gas lamps as early as 1792. By 1803 gas was being used to light a factory and was being manufactured on a commercial scale.

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