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Zamorska, Wanda Caroline, 1861-1951, Assistant Lecturer in Botany, Royal Technical College, Glasgow

  • P1243
  • Person
  • 1861-1951

Wanda Zamorska was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 9 June 1861. She was the second of six children of Albert Zamorski, a commission agent for elastics and silks, and his wife, Martha Grundy Zamorska (née Cooper). After her parents died, Wanda, who never married, shared a home in Glasgow with three of her siblings and appeared in the 1891 census of Scotland as a teacher of music.

In 1894, Wanda and her sisters, Elma and Alberta, enrolled for a summer evening course in botany at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (GWSTC - known from 1912 as the Royal Technical College (RTC), forerunner of the University of Strathclyde). Over the next four years, the trio returned for further evening studies in various scientific subjects, including an experimental physics class, for which Wanda gained second prize in session 1895-1896. Neither Elma nor Alberta pursued their studies beyond session 1896-1897, but Wanda enrolled for another evening class in botany in session 1897-1898, followed by a geology class in session 1898-1899. After a break of several years, she resumed her evening studies in session 1903-1904, taking bacteriology lecture course I and bacteriology laboratory course I. During this session, a new Lecturer in Botany and Bacteriology, Dr David Ellis, took up post, and soon recognized Wanda's abilities. She was appointed as a part-time assistant to Dr Ellis from 1 September 1904 at a salary of £13 per annum, thus becoming one of the few women involved in the teaching of scientific subjects at the GWSTC in this period. During session 1904-1905, Wanda also received a Kerr Bursary in Botany of £15, tenable for a maximum of three years. This award, combined with the remuneration from her part-time post, may have enabled her to reduce or give up her primary occupation as a teacher of music, as in session 1905-1906 she enrolled as a day student of the GWSTC for the first time.

Over the next decade, Wanda combined her part-time assistant’s role with attendance as a student at the GWSTC. She enrolled for classes in various scientific subjects, including day courses in organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry, and a special laboratory course in botany. She also qualified for first class certificates of merit (awarded for a final mark of over 80 percent) in most of her evening classes, including bacteriology lecture course II, bacteriology laboratory course II, pharmacy, materia medica, zoology lecture courses I and II, and zoology laboratory courses I and II. Her final enrolment as a student occurred in session 1914-1915, when she took the zoology special laboratory evening class.

In session 1906-1907, Wanda Zamorska was the senior of three part-time assistants attached to the Department of Botany and Bacteriology, alongside Miss Evelyne Gilmour and Mr George Russell. The assistants’ duties primarily involved preparing and conducting practical demonstrations for Dr Ellis’s classes. From 1907, the introduction of new vacation courses in botany for schoolteachers and courses in economic botany for grocers saw the assistants’ workload increase considerably, with Wanda’s salary rising to £25 by November of that year. In September 1911, Evelyne Gilmour resigned and her duties were absorbed by Wanda Zamorska, whose remuneration further increased to £45 per annum. By session 1916-1917, George Russell had also departed, leaving Wanda as the sole assistant in the Department of Botany and Bacteriology. This, together with the strains experienced by all staff in their efforts to keep classes going throughout the First World War, may have encouraged her to appeal to the RTC’s Committee on Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Natural Sciences. In September 1919, responding to a letter received from Wanda Zamorska, the Committee recommended that her salary be raised to £90 for the session and that Dr Ellis should make some arrangements to relieve her from day duties. One of these arrangements may have concerned her title, as the RTC Calendar for session 1920-1921 lists Miss Zamorska as ‘Demonstrator’ rather than ‘Assistant’ in the Department of Botany and Bacteriology.

By 1920, Dr David Ellis, Lecturer in Botany and Bacteriology, was also Superintendent of the RTC’s School of Pharmacy and had charge of the School of Bakery. To better manage the increasing workload within his department, in May 1923 Ellis requested that his six part-time assistants be replaced by two full-time assistants from session 1923-1924. The senior of these posts went to Wanda Zamorska, at a salary of £325 per annum. Thereafter, the RTC Annual Reports list her as Assistant Lecturer to Dr Ellis in the Department of Botany and Bacteriology and also as Assistant Lecturer in Botany within the School of Pharmacy. Although she appealed to the Committee on Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Natural Sciences for a further increase of salary in the summer of 1924, her request was not granted. Wanda Zamorska retired in the summer of 1926, aged 65, after 22 years of service to the GWSTC and the RTC. She died at the age of 90 on 26 November 1951.

Young, James, 1811-1883, chemist

  • P0032
  • Person
  • 1811-1883

James Young was born in Glasgow in 1811. He attended Professor Thomas Graham's chemistry lectures at Anderson's University in 1830, became Graham's assistant in 1832 and followed him to University College, London in 1837. He became manager of the chemical works of James Muspratt, St Helens, Lancashire in 1838, and moved to Tennants, Clow & Co of Ardwick, Manchester in 1844. In 1848, Young established an oil refinery at Alfreton, Derbyshire with James Oakes, and in 1850 he was granted a 14 year patent for a process to extract oil from cannel coal. He subsequently entered into partnership with Edward Binney and Edward Meldrum for the manufacture of oils from Boghead cannel coal at Bathgate, West Lothian, and began the sale of paraffin. Young embarked on considerable litigation against other companies who had attempted to infringe his patent. In 1865, Young bought out his business partners and a year later established Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Company, with new works at Addiewell, Bathgate. He also patented other industrial processes.

James Young was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1861 and of the Royal Society in 1873. From 1868-1877 he was President of Anderson's University, and a great benefactor to the University. He founded the Young Chair of Technical Chemistry in 1869. He was a lifelong friend of David Livingstone, who had been a medical student at Anderson's University in the 1830s, and funded Livingstone's African expeditions. He was a keen yachtsman and made long voyages with family and friends on his yacht, 'Nyanza'. Young continued his scientific experiments in retirement, notably on the velocity of light, with Professor George Forbes of Anderson's University. In 1879, Young was awarded the degree of LLD of St Andrews University.

Young, Hilary, b. 1979, oral historian, researcher, digital curator

  • P0814
  • Person
  • b.1979

Dr Young studied history at the University of Strathclyde (BA, 2001). During 2005 she contributed to the oral history project 'Coal miners and dust-related disease', assisting in the interviewing and transcription process. She completed a PhD on 'Representation and reception: an oral history of gender in British children's story papers, comics and magazines in the 1940s and 1950s' (2006, University of Strathclyde).

As of 2017, she is a research associate at the University of Glasgow.

Young, Helen, historian

  • P0315
  • Person

Helen Young is an academic historian, specialising in Scottish history and rural affairs, with a PhD from the University of Stirling.

Young Chair of Technical Chemistry, Glasgow

  • C0029
  • Corporate body
  • 1869-1887

The first chair of its type in the world, the Young Chair of Technical Chemistry was established in 1869 as the result of a munificent gift by James 'Paraffin' Young (1811-1883). Young, a former student and assistant to Professor Thomas Graham at Anderson's University, made his fortune from the Scottish shale oil industry and other industrial processes, and was a major benefactor of the University. He became a Trustee in 1858 and served as President of Anderson's University from 1868 to 1877. The proposal to found a Chair of Technical Chemistry met fierce opposition from the existing chemistry professors, who feared that the establishment of the new chair would result in a decline in student numbers attending their own classes. The Young Laboratory was housed in a building adjoining the Andersonian, and was equipped to the best modern standards.

The Young Chair was technically independent of Anderson's University until 1887, when it was absorbed into the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College.

Wyllie, George Ralston, 1921-2012, artist and sculptor

  • P0113
  • Person
  • 1921-2012

George Wyllie was born in Glasgow in 1921. Initially a sailor and then a customs officer, he rapidly acquired a national and international reputation as an artist and sculptor, working in regenerative, performance and public art. The underlying principle of his work was that art can change ideas and is an essential force in society. There was always a question at the heart of his work. He called his art Scul?ture.

Wyllie exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, Europe, India and the United States. His best known works are ‘The Straw Locomotive,’ ‘The Paper Boat,’ ‘A Day Down a Goldmine’, ‘Equilibrium of Spires’ and ‘The Cosmic Voyage.’ He also worked in theatre, writing, installations and film. He lived and worked in Gourock, Scotland.

Wyllie had a long association with the University of Strathclyde, staging his first ever solo exhibition in the University’s Collins Gallery in 1976. In April 1990, the University awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

In 2005, he was awarded an MBE for service to the Arts. He died in 2012.

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