Gibb, John (DNB00)

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GIBB, JOHN (1776–1850), civil engineer and contractor, was born at Kirkcows, near Falkirk, a small property belonging to his father, a contractor, in 1776. The elder Gibb having died when John was only twelve, the son served an apprenticeship to a mechanical trade. After this he was employed as contractor's assistant, and later as subordinate engineer by his brother, then serving under John Rennie on the construction of the Lancaster and Preston canal. He afterwards went to Leith, being engaged by his father-in-law, Mr. Easton, in the making of the docks there. Commencing practice on his own account as a contractor, he gradually established a reputation for professional skill. He was employed in the construction of Greenock harbour under Rennie, where Telford's attention was drawn to his exceptional ability and great managerial tact. Telford engaged him as resident engineer at the Aberdeen harbour works. Gibb removed thither in 1809, and superintended the erection of extensive piers and other details. He executed many commissions with credit under Telford, Rennie, Robert Stephenson (of Edinburgh), and Sir William Cubitt; chief among his labours being the repair of the Crinan canal in 1817, various harbours on the east coast of Scotland, the great Glasgow and Carlisle turnpike road (which involved stone bridges of extensive span, such as that of Cartland Craigs, near Lanark, over the glen of the Mouse), various lighthouses, the Dean road bridge, near Edinburgh, several railway viaducts, and the famous Glasgow bridge, the lowest over the Clyde, and a model of its class, which was designed by Telford and completed by Gibb and his son. Gibb's special eminence lay in operations connected with harbour construction and river engineering. He died at Aberdeen on 3 Dec. 1850, being at the time one of the oldest members of the Institute of Civil Engineers.

[Thomson's Eminent Scotsmen; Anderson's Scottish Nation.]

J. B-y.