Engineering notes of Dr. Russell A. Leather, Edinburgh University student, graduating 1952
Scope and Contents
Apparently, experiments involving the 'Paxman' steam engine would be an all-day affair, beginning with start-up of the engine in the morning. The coal fed to the engine would be carefully weighed, and the calorific value of the coal had to be known. Horsepower would have to worked out; measurements taken of energy in and energy out.
The note-books consist of:
- 1 x Heat and Engines Lab. - 1st and 2nd year Engineering, 1948-1950 - Baxendine's Science Note Book - R.A.Leather
- 1 x Strength of Materials - 1st and 2nd year Engineering, 1948-1950 - R.A.Leather
- 1 x General Engineering - 1st year Engineering, 1948 - and, Machines - 2nd year Engineering, 1949 - R.A.Leather
- 1 x Electrical Technology - 2nd year Engineering, 1949 - R.A.Leather
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Biographical / Historical
As in other instutions in the UK, studying at Edinburgh University in the immediate post-war period was challenging. Food and clothing were severely rationed and new equipment was in short supply. Test equipment and other mechanical machinery were of pre-war standard, but although out-dated it was capable of producing decent results. Although Leather studied electrical engineering, the first year curriculum was aimed at providing students with a broader engineering background. Mechanical devices, steel structures and electrical technology were all covered.
In the pre-war period, the emphasis had been on civil engineering but this changed in the late-1940s when, under Professor Arnold, greater emphasis was placed on mechanical engineering. And, later on, under Professor Farvis, an electrical engineering curriculum was developed and this included electronics which, though still hollow state, would soon be dominated by solid state electronics. At Edinburgh University, electrical power engineering relied on equipment at the then Heriot-Watt College.
After his studies, Leather worked on and researched into radar with Ferranti in Edinburgh and in Dundee. During his time with Ferranti he took out around 25 patents. Latterly he was Chair of the Gannochy Trust for seventeen years until 2008, and had been a Trustee for 40-years.
Russell A. Leather BSc Hon LL.D. CEng. FIEE MIMechE visited Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections, in November 2012 to donate his first and second year engineering note-books.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- 1st and 2nd year Engineering notes of Dr. Russell A. Leather (b. 1924), Edinburgh University student, graduating 1952