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Saint John in Saint John County, New Brunswick — The Canadian Atlantic
 

Robert Foulis

 
 
Robert Foulis Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2019
1. Robert Foulis Marker
Inscription.  
English:
In 1822 when Robert Foulis arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick he was 30 years old, a well-educated Scotsman from Glasgow, recognized as brilliant in sciences, and trained as an engineer. He spent the rest of his life in the city struggling to gain fame and fortune as an inventor and businessman.

At that time Saint John was a booming industrial and business centre. As an engineer Foulis soon found work. The provincial government commissioned him to survey the St. John River from Fredericton to Grand Falls. His maps were used on river vessels for the next 80 years.

Steam was a new science when Foulis produced the fittings for the second steam boat on the St John River.

As one of the organizers of the Saint John Mechanics Institute for young workmen Foulis illustrated his lectures using his own inventions like his electric dynamo and his machine that produced illuminating gas by decomposing coal. Unfortunately, in his passion for inventing Foulis neglected to patent his inventions, so he never profited from them.

The steam foghorn, the most famous Foulis invention, used
Robert Foulis Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2019
2. Robert Foulis Marker (wide view)
Morse code to warn ships of specific places of dangerous water. While it was built to assist ships during fogs in the Bay of Fundy this reliable warning system could be adapted for any coastal area with dangers in the shipping route. The Foulis foghorn design was approved in 1853 by the New Brunswick legislature, but no one agreed to finance its construction.

Later, another New Brunswick man took the Foulis plans, built the foghorn and installed it on Partridge Island to warn marine traffic of the dangers on entry to Saint John harbour. At the time Saint John was a major East Coast port with a busy international trade, so the shipping industry recognized the value of the new invention. Someone else in the United States took out the patent. Foulis received neither the fame nor fortune his invention deserved. He died a pauper in Saint John in 1866.

Marine historians have recognized the Foulis steam foghorn as one of the important inventions leading to improved safety for shipping in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Français:
C'est en1822, à l'âge de 30 ans, que Robert Foulis arrive à Saint John, au Nouveau-Brunswick. Cet Écossais originaire de Glasgow est cultivé, doué pour les sciences et formé en ingénierie. Il y passe le reste de sa vie, cherchant tant bien que mal la gloire et la fortune en tant qu'inventeur et homme d'affaires.
Robert Foulis Statue image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2019
3. Robert Foulis Statue


À cette époque, Saint John est un centre industriel et économique florissant. Foulis y trouve rapidement du travail comme ingénieur. Le gouvernement provincial le charge alors de faire un arpentage de la rivière Saint-Jean, de Fredericton à Grand-Sault. Ses cartes seront utilisées par les embarcations fluviales dans les 80 années qui suivront.

La navigation à vapeur est une technologie récente lorsque Foulis élabore les équipements du deuxième bateau à vapeur à naviguer sur la rivière Saint-Jean.

En tant que membre organisateur du Mechanics Institute de Saint John pour les jeunes ouvriers, Foulis illustre ses cours avec ses propres inventions, comme sa dynamo électrique ou sa machine qui produit du gaz d'éclairage en décomposant du charbon. Malheureusement, emporté par sa passion, il oublie de breveter ses inventions, et il n'en retirera jamais rien.

La corne de brume à Vapeur, l'invention la plus connue de Foulis, se sert du code Morse pour prévenir les bateaux des endroits où les eaux sont particulièrement dangereuses. Même s'il est conçu pour aider les bateaux à naviguer dans le brouillard de la baie de Fundy, ce système d'alarme fiable peut s'adapter à toutes les zones côtières présentant des dangers sur la voie de navigation. La conception de la corne de brume de Foulis est approuvée en 1853 par l'assemblée législative du Nouveau-Brunswick,
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mais personne ne veut financer sa construction.

Plus tard, un Néo-Brunswickois s'empare des plans de Foulis, construit la corne de brume et l'installe sur Partridge Island afin de prévenir le trafic maritime des dangers présents à l'entrée du port de Saint John. À l'époque, Saint John est l'un des principaux ports de la côte Est, plaque tournante d'un commerce international florissant; l'industrie du transport maritime reconnaît donc la nouvelle invention à sa juste valeur. Plus tard, un autre individu aux États-Unis obtient le brevet. Foulis ne connaîtra ni la gloire ni la fortune que son invention méritait. C'est à Saint John, en 1866, qu'il meurt dans le dénuement le plus total.

Les historiens maritimes ont fini par reconnaître la corne de brume à vapeur de Foulis comme l'une des inventions majeures ayant permis l'amélioration de la sécurité des bateaux entre la fin du XIXe et le début du XXe siècle.
 
Erected by J.D. Irving, Limited.
 
Location. 45° 15.424′ N, 66° 5.422′ W. Marker is in Saint John, New Brunswick, in Saint John County. Marker can be reached from Lancaster Avenue 0.2 kilometers east of Bridge Road (New Brunswick Route 100), on the left when traveling east. Marker is located along the walking path in Wolastoq Park,
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near the center of the park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 211 Lancaster Avenue, Saint John, New Brunswick E2M 2K8, Canada. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William Kilby Reynolds (here, next to this marker); Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley (a few steps from this marker); Charles Gorman (a few steps from this marker); K. C. Irving (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Stockwell Simms (within shouting distance of this marker); George B. Oland (within shouting distance of this marker); John Robertson (within shouting distance of this marker); Benedict Arnold (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Saint John.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Wolastoq Park
 
Also see . . .  Robert Foulis. Robert Foulis was a contemporary of Michael Faraday, the famous English scientist, and those who knew them both as young men considered Foulis the greater genius. From time to time between 1854 and 1859 he agitated for the installation of his fog-horn on Partridge Island in Saint John harbour, but no action was taken by the assembly. In 1859 T. T. Vernon-Smith obtained Foulis’ plans and was granted permission to erect a steam foghorn, the first to be installed anywhere in the world, on the island. The coded steam fog-horn was evidently later patented by an American who realized its financial potential. (Submitted on November 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesScience & MedicineWaterways & Vessels
 

More. Search the internet for Robert Foulis.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 3, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 31, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 51 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 3, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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