The Boyhood of Great Inventorsby A. Fraser Robertson
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People who have been on a long sea voyage, and have ended by sailing up the English Channel, tell us how their hearts beat high, after weary weeks and months at sea, when the cry went up while as yet land was a mere shadowy outline, "The Eddystone in sight!" For the gleaming lighthouse standing immovable in the midst of boiling waves and great mountains of blinding white spray spells "home" to the voyager.
To us the "stone" round which the waters ceaselessly churn and "eddy" speaks of John Smeaton, the man who built it. The great engineer has been in his grave now for more than a century, but his most lasting monument stood for longer than that time firm as a rock.
John Smeaton was born in 1724, near Leeds. Not the Leeds of to-day--a bustling, smoky centre of manufacture--but a quaint little town hemmed in by green country fields and lanes. It was in one of these that Austhorpe Lodge stood, the house of Smeaton's father, a lawyer in Leeds.
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