Saturday 28 August 2010

'Science Spotlight’ 8/12 George Bennie

George Bennie 1892-1957
born Auldhouse, Glasgow, the son of engineer He patented a number of inventions including a stable ashtray, which could be used at sea. He soon turned his inventive talents towards public transportation and in 1920 he developed the 'Railplane' an aircraft propeller driven monorail type system suspended from existing railway tracks. Bennie proposed that his Railplane, would enable passenger travel to run faster without being impeded by the slower freight trains on ground level.
Bennie’s idea caught the imagination of the public winning him a gold medal at the Industrial Exhibition in Edinburgh in 1922. Fired with enthusiasm, convinced that he was going to revolutionise transport, Bennie set out to transform his ideas into reality and in 1930 a prototype was installed over an LNER siding to Burnbrae Dyeworks at Milngavie, near Glasgow. Despite high levels of enthusiasm at launch, the world was recovering after the great depression of 1929 and he was unable to get sufficient financial backing to develop the idea further. Having invested large amounts of his own money in the construction of the test track He was declared bankrupt in 1937. The Structure was demolished for scrap a year before Bennie's death.

© Arfon Jones 2010. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

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