Robert Stirling ~ Clergyman and Inventor


This clergyman is most well-known as an inventor. he was born in Cloag in Perthshire in the year 1790. After study at Edinburgh University, Robert Stirling was ordained in 1816 within the Church of Scotland and subsequently appointed Minister at Galston in Ayrshire (1837-78). His foremost invention is the Stirling Hot-Air Engine “in which the working fluid (air) is heated at one end of the cylinder by an external source of heat.” This engine was developed by Robert Stirling in conjunction with his brother James an engineer. The first prototype was built at the foundry in Dundee where James Stirling was employed in 1843. In recent years scientists and engineers have begun to look again at this engine as it offers operational characteristics that are non-polluting.