William Denny (1847-1887)
William was the eldest son of Peter Denny (1821-1895) (BHC2654) and was the family's most innovative member. He pioneered steel shipbuilding which culminated in the construction of the 'Rotomahana' (1879), the first ocean-going steel ship. He persuaded his father to build the first commercial test tank in the world in order to enhance the quality and efficiency of the company's ship's hulls. The portrait which is signed and dated 'Norman Macbeth 1888' is posthumous as William Denny had committed suicide in Buenos Aires the previous year, after a series of breakdowns and ill health. Norman Macbeth (1821-1888) was a Royal Scottish Academician (RSA) who specialized in presentation portraits for institutions. He had portrait practices in Greenock, Glasgow and, from 1861, Edinburgh.
- Image reference: BHC2655
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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