John Brown (1850 - 1911):
John Brown was born in Waringstown, County Down, and was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Belfast, and in Bonn. He worked in his father's damask and linen manufacturing factories, though at the age of thirty-five he resigned in order to devote his time to scientific pursuits. He was a member of the British Association and an Associate of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, a Fellow of the Physical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He wrote many scientific papers on voltaic action and electrolysis. His last paper was entitled 'Removal of the Voltaic Potential Difference by Heating in Oil'. At the age of thirty he arrived at the best possible method of construction of the Rumkorf Coil. Ten years later his paper on the subject of 'Education and Schools' was read before the Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society, asserting that 'In a good school the pupils should learn how to learn'. He was a member of many clubs. In 1895 he bought a steam car, and in 1905 he exhibited the first motor-car in Belfast. His motoring led to an awareness of road surfaces; he invented the 'Viagraph' to record the condition of the surface, and he was President of the Irish Roads Improvement Association.