The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Fairbairn, Sir William
An eminent engineer, born at Kelso; served an apprenticeship in N. Shields, and in 1817 started business in Manchester, where he came to the front as a builder of iron ships; improved upon Robert Stephenson's idea of a tubular bridge, and built upwards of 1000 of these; introduced iron shafts into cotton mills, and was employed by Government to test the suitability of iron for purposes of defence; created a baronet in 1869 (1789-1874).
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Fairbairn, Sir William'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/f/fairbairn-sir-william.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.