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Best Of Belfast: Northern Ireland's #1 Interview Podcast

Apr 5, 2021

Samuel Davidson (1846 – 1921) was an engineer from Belfast who invented the air conditioning fan, brought tea to Northern Ireland and founded Sirocco Works — a manufacturer of machines that employed over 1000 people.


He was also a self-taught musician, photographer and world-traveller in a time when ‘a business trip to India’ meant a 66-day journey!


Yet few people in Northern Ireland have ever heard about Samuel Davidson — or the legacy he's left for our city today.


In this week's episode we catch up with great-grandchildren, former employees and local historians to try to figure out how a young lad who never finished school was able to become one of the great industrial titans of his time.


Check it out.




This episode is part of The Streets Where They Lived: a new documentary collaboration between Successful Belfast, Belfast Buildings Trust, and Best of Belfast. The Streets Where They Lived will feature the stories of six incredible but sometimes overlooked men and women from Belfast and some of the buildings and places in the City with which they’re connected.


The project is a collaboration with Successful Belfast, a project of Belfast Buildings Trust. It is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Belfast Buildings Trust is a charity founded in 1996 to regenerate Belfast’s landmark buildings. The Trust works to ensure that the City’s authentic heritage is made relevant for people today. One of its projects is Successful Belfast, which champions new and creative ways of involving people in Belfast’s future development.  


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