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Sir John Cowan (1845-1929), chairman and managing director of Redpath, Brown and Co
1845 Born in Jamaica. Nephew of James Marshall
1860 Joined Redpath, Brown as an apprentice
By 1880 was the sole partner in the business
1896 When the company was incorporated, John Cowan was the first chairman.
1929 Died in Edinburgh
1929 Obituary 
Sir JOHN COWAN died in Edinburgh on February 7, 1929, aged eighty-four.
Sir John was apprenticed to Messrs. Redpath, Brown & Co., Ltd., at the age of sixteen, and at the time of his death he was the head of the concern; in addition to his connection with that engineering firm - he celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of the association in 1920 - he was chairman of Messrs. Bruce, Peebles & Co., Ltd., and a director of Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., Ltd., and the National Steel Foundry (1914), Ltd.
He was knighted in 1915.
He was a Life Member of the Iron and Steel Institute, which he joined in 1894.