Skip to main content

Fleming, Sir John Ambrose, 1849-1945 (Knight, electrical engineer and university teacher)



  • Existence: 1849 - 1945


Sir (John) Ambrose Fleming (1849-1945), electrical engineer, was born at Lancaster on 29 November 1849. He was educated at University College School, London, and University College London (B.Sc., 1870) before studying at South Kensington, 1872-1874, under Edward Frankland and Frederick Guthrie. He entered St John's College, Cambridge, in 1877 (B.A., 1880), where he became a Fellow in 1883. Fleming was Professor of Electrical Engineering, University College London, 1885-1926. He invented the thermionic valve in 1904, and was knighted in 1929. He died at Sidmouth on 18 April 1945. James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) was born in Edinburgh on 13 June 1831. He attended the Edinburgh Academy and Edinburgh University, and entered Peterhouse, Cambridge, in October 1850, transferring to Trinity College in December of that year. He graduated in 1854, and became a Fellow in 1855. Maxwell was appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy at Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1856, and married Katherine Mary Dewar, the daughter of the principal, in 1858. He was Professor of Natural Philosophy at King's College, London, 1860-1865, and Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge from 1871. He died in Cambridge on 5 November 1879.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:


Ambrose Fleming: Notes on James Clerk Maxwell's lectures

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8082-8083
Scope and Contents

Notes by Ambrose Fleming on the last course of lectures given by James Clerk Maxwell at Cambridge University, delivered October 1878 - June 1879. There is an index at the front of each volume.

Dates: 1878-1879
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Letter from J.C. Maxwell to Sir John Ambrose Fleming; equations in Maxwell's hand, plus photograph of Maxwell, 14 Jan. 1875-1878 (SLP 548 (22a))

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS.Add.7655/III/a/22a-22b
Scope and Contents From the File:

Modern copies or transcriptions of correspondence of J.C. Maxwell and others in this collection or elsewhere, including typescripts and facsimiles

Dates: 14 Jan. 1875-1878 (SLP 548 (22a))
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: RESTRICTED - Use Microfilms CMO5028-CMO5042. List in catalogue

Additional filters:

Archival Object 1
Collection 1
Electromagnetism 1
Physics 1
Thermodynamics 1