Thomas William Cowan

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Thomas William Cowan Thomas William Cowan 1911.png
Thomas William Cowan

Thomas William Cowan (1840–1926) was a co-founder and president of the British Beekeepers' Association. [1]



Cowan was born in 1840 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and died in 1926 in Clevedon, United Kingdom. In the UK census he described himself as a civil engineer [2] and a farmer. [3]

Saint Petersburg Federal city in the Northwestern federal district, Russia

Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.

Clevedon town and civil parish in North Somerset, England

Clevedon is an English town and civil parish in the unitary authority of North Somerset, which covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset. It recorded a population of 21,281 in the United Kingdom Census 2011. It lies among a group of small hills, including Church Hill, Wain's Hill, Dial Hill, Strawberry Hill, Castle Hill, Hangstone Hill and Court Hill, a Site of Special Scientific Interest along the Severn estuary. It features in the Domesday Book of 1086. Clevedon grew in the Victorian period as a seaside resort and in the 20th century as a dormitory town.

Cowan travelled to the US several times [4] and in 1900 settled in Monterey.

Cowan founded the Beekeepers' Association with Charles Nash Abbott (1830-1894) in 1874: "For the Encouragement, Improvement and Advancement of Bee Culture in the United Kingdom, particularly as a means of bettering the Condition of Cottagers and the Agricultural Labouring Classes, as well as the advocacy of humanity to the industrious labourer – the Honey Bee." [5]

Cowan designed the cylindrical honey extractor. He was the editor of the British Bee Journal and the Bee Keepers' Record. [6]

Cowan authored books on beekeeping and related topics and was a collector of beekeeping books. Upon his death, his library numbered more than 1,800 books, which formed the basis of the Cowan Memorial Library. [7]

Selected publications

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  1. "COWAN, Thomas William". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 397.
  2. 1861 UK Census and 1871 UK Census
  3. 1881 UK Census
  4. UK departure records
  5. History of the BBKA
  6. Western Daily Press, Wednesday 1 September 1926
  7. The Times (London, England), Monday 23 December 1929.