Explorers. Geniuses. Visionaries. FORGOTTEN; the Little-Known Scots Who Shaped the World

Article excerpt

Byline: Marion Scott

Every schoolchild knows of great Scots such as Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell and John Logie Baird.

But a veteran BBC journalist has spent five years researching the unknown Scots whose brains and bravery helped shape the modern world.

Jock Gallagher, 75, uncovered an amazing array of lesser-known explorers and visionaries for new book Scotland's Global Empire: A Chronicle of Great Scots.

Greenock-born Jock - former boss of radio soap The Archers - was inspired by 18th century philosopher Voltaire's quote: "We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation."

Household names such as Dunfermline-born industrialist and philanthropist Carnegie are acknowledged in Gallagher's fascinating labour of love.

But many of the achievements of those features - in fields including science, medicine, military and politics - have been largely over-looked.

Today, we take a look at some of these forgotten heroes who helped shape the "Scottish Empire".

DAVID DUNBAR BUICK Arbroath-born Buick (1854-1929) spawned the American motor industry with a new style of engine and sowed the seeds of General Motors.

He established the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company in 1899 - which was eventually swallowed up by GM.

Buick quit in 1906 and died penniless, though GM still use the Buick name.

JOHN LAW The word millionaire was coined for Edinburgh man Law (1671-1729) who founded the Bank Generale in Paris in 1715 and issued the world's first paper money. …