William Playfair

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William Playfair

Birthdate: (63)
Birthplace: Benvie, Dundee City, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: February 11, 1823 (63)
Place of Burial: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of James Playfair, Min. of Liff and Benvie and Margaret Playfair
Husband of Mary Playfair
Father of Elizabeth Bingley; Zenobia Playfair; Andrew William Playfair, Lt. Col. and John Playfair
Brother of John Playfair, Professor of Natural Philosophy, Edinburgh; Robert Playfair; James Playfair; Charles Playfair; Andrew Playfair and 1 other

Occupation: Engineer, Mathematician
Managed by: Alisdair James Smyth
Last Updated:

About William Playfair

Wikipedia Biographical Summary

William Playfair (22 September 1759 – 11 February 1823) was a Scottish engineer and political economist, the founder of graphical methods of statistics.

William Playfair invented four types of diagrams: in 1786 the line graph and bar chart of economic data, and in 1801 the pie chart and circle graph, used to show part-whole relations.

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'William Playfair', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 July 2013, 02:57 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Playfair&oldid=563465519> [accessed 7 December 2013]


Took part in French Revolution Involved in land scam in USA/tried hand at blackmail Invented pie chart, bar graph and statistical line graph

William Playfair (22 September 1759 – 11 February 1823) was a Scottish engineer and political economist, the founder of graphical methods of statistics.

William Playfair invented several types of diagrams: in 1786 the line, area and bar chart of economic data, and in 1801 the pie chart and circle graph, used to show part-whole relations.

Biography Playfair was born in 1759 in Scotland during the Enlightenment, a Golden Age in the arts, sciences, industry and commerce. He was the fourth son (named after his grandfather) of the Reverend James Playfair of the parish of Liff & Benvie near the city of Dundee in Scotland; his notable brothers were architect James Playfair and mathematician John Playfair. His father died in 1772 when William was 13, leaving the eldest brother John to care for the family and his education. After his apprenticeship with Andrew Meikle, the inventor of the threshing machine, Playfair became draftsman and personal assistant to James Watt at the Boulton and Watt steam engine manufactory in Soho, Birmingham.

Playfair had a variety of careers. He was in turn a millwright, engineer, draftsman, accountant, inventor, silversmith, merchant, investment broker, economist, statistician, pamphleteer, translator, publicist, land speculator, convict, banker, ardent royalist, editor, blackmailer and journalist.

On leaving Watt's company in 1782, he set up a silversmithing business and shop in London, which failed. In 1787 he moved to Paris, taking part in the storming of the Bastille two years later. He returned to London in 1793, where he opened a "security bank", which also failed. From 1775 he worked as a writer and pamphleteer and did some engineering work.

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William Playfair's Timeline

1759
September 22, 1759
Benvie, Dundee City, Scotland, United Kingdom
1782
1782
Age 22
England, United Kingdom
1790
May 1790
Age 30
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
1795
1795
Age 35
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
1823
February 11, 1823
Age 63
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London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom