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.