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Sir James Anderson

(1824-1893), Telegraphic engineer

Sitter in 3 portraits

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Sir James Anderson, by Unknown photographer - NPG Ax27877

Sir James Anderson

by Unknown photographer
albumen print, 1860s
NPG Ax27877

Sir James Anderson; Margaret (née Milligan), Lady Anderson, by Edwin Alfred Debenham (later Debenham & Gould) - NPG x56

Sir James Anderson; Margaret (née Milligan), Lady Anderson

by Edwin Alfred Debenham (later Debenham & Gould)
albumen cabinet card, circa 1885
NPG x56


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Russell Lemon

09 October 2019, 16:10

Born in Dumfries in 1824, James Anderson grew up with a longing to be a seaman. A dream he would realise through a seaman’s apprenticeship with the Shipping company T&J Brocklebank in Whitehaven where his career went from strength to strength. By the age of 20 Anderson was commanding his own ship for Cunard, who by this time owned The Whitehaven company. He was eventually head-hunted to captain The Great Eastern, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Giant of a steamer (5 times larger than any ship built before it), commissioned to lay the first Transatlantic Cable from England to the North American Mainland, a previously incomprehensible task, akin at the time to landing a man on the moon! Queen Victoria would later bestow a Knighthood on Anderson for his efforts