HARRISON, JAMES (1816?-1893), journalist and inventor, was born at Bonhill near
Renton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, the son of a fisherman. James was apprenticed to
a printer at Glasgow where he managed to attend the Evening College founded by
Professor John Anderson (Anderson's University) and later the Glasgow Mechanics'
Institution, where he specialized in chemistry and won two prizes for his essays.
He went to London in 1835 and worked as a compositor. Engaged by Tegg &
Co., publishers and booksellers of Cheapside, he sailed for Sydney in 1837 with
printing equipment for the Literary News to be edited by William a'Beckett. After
five months with this journal, Harrison repaid his passage money and became
foreman of the Sydney Monitor; he also contributed to it a refutation of Dr
William Bland's specific against spontaneous combustion in wool, and worked for
the Sydney Herald.
View the full record at
Australian Dictionary of Biography
James Harrison worked as a journalist on various newspapers in Victoria from his arrival there in 1839 until his return to England about 1873. He was also a keen inventor, being a pioneer in all kinds of refrigeration and in 1873 he won a gold medal at the Melbourne Exhibition by proving that meat kept frozen for months remained perfectly edible.
Born Renton, near Ben Lomond, Scotland, April 1816?. Died Geelong, Victoria, 3 September 1893. Educated Evening College and Mechanics' Institute, Glasgow. Apprentice printer, Glasgow; compositor, London 1832-37; to Sydney with printing equipment for the Literary News 1837; foreman, Sydney Monitor and work for the Sydney Herald 1837-39; worked for the Port Phillip Patriot 1839-40; founder, Geelong Advertiser 1840, editor 1840-67, owner 1842-62; also founded Geelong Almanac and Intelligencer 1950; founder Geelong Register 1865-67; editor, Melbourne Age from 1867. Designed and built the plant for the first Australian manufacture of ice 1854; formed the Sydney Ice Company with P.N. Russell 1860; designed a revolutionary refrigerator 1860; work on the refrigeration of ships for the export of meat from 1870; in England ca 1873-92, working as a journalist on the Age under the name "Oedipus"; returned to Geelong 1892, continuing to write and making plans to produce soda from his block. His portrait is in the Geelong Art Gallery.
View the full record at
Encyclopedia of Australian Science