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Daniel Nicol Dunlop

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Daniel Nicol Dunlop

Daniel Nicol Dunlop (28 December 1868, Kilmarnock, Scotland — 30 May 1935, London) was a Scottish entrepreneur, founder of the World Power Conference and other associations, and a theosophist-turned-anthroposophist. He was the father of artist Ronald Ossory Dunlop.


  • Life and work 1
    • Childhood, education, marriage and children 1.1
    • In business 1.2
    • His work for Theosophy 1.3
    • Meeting with Anthroposophy 1.4
  • Selected published work 2
  • Literature 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Life and work

Childhood, education, marriage and children

Dunlop was born on 28 December 1868 in Kilmarnock as the only child of Alexander Dunlop and Catherine Nicol (1847–1873). His father was an architect and a Quaker preacher. He lost his mother at the age of five and was brought up by his grandfather on the Isle of Arran, where he learnt the trade of fishing. After his grandfather died in turn, he returned to his father in Kilmarnock once again, attending the local school. On completing his schooling, he did an apprenticeship with an engineering company in Ardrossan, Ayrshire in western Scotland.

After some differences of opinion with his father, he left home in 1886, taking a job in a bicycle shop in William Butler Yeats, and became active in the Irish Theosophical Society. He was also known to James Joyce, and gets a mention in Ulysses.

In 1891 he married Eleanor Fitzpatrick (ca. 1867–1932); becoming the father of three children, Ronald Ossory Dunlop, a well-known painter and daughters Edith and Aileen.

In business

Dunlop moved to America, and in 1896 was employed by the American World Energy Council, which met for the first time on 11 July 1924 and of which he was elected chairman.[3] Towards the close of his life he was elected independent chairman of the Electrical Fair Trading Council and chairman of the executive council of the World Power Conference.

His work for Theosophy

Shortly after leaving home for Glasgow in 1886, Dunlop began to study works on Occultism and Philosophy. This was greatly stimulated by his friendship with Æ and led to their lifelong connection. After moving to Dublin, he became a member of the local lodge of the Theosophical Society. Together with Æ and Yeats he attended meetings of the Hermetic Society and in 1882 founded the magazine “The Irish Theosophist”, which he edited until his departure from Dublin in 1897 for the United States.[4]

When the Theosophical Society split in 1895, Dunlop became a member of the Theosophical Society in America, where he at intervals functioned as secretary to its president, Katherine Tingley, At the end of 1899 he resigned from the Theosophical Society in America, or was perhaps, expelled, the documentation being unclear on this point,[5] and joined the Theosophical Society Adyar in London. He published many articles in the “Theosophical Review" and "The Vahan". In 1909 he initiated the Summer Schools, regular international meetings with theosophical lecture cycles and events where participants got to know one another more intimately. In 1910 he founded the Blavatsky Institute in Manchester in in the same year, together with Charles Lazenby, the magazine “the Path”.[6] He also founded his own theosophical lodge under the auspices of the Theosophical Society with the name “Light on the Path” and became its president.

Meeting with Anthroposophy

Dunlop saw

  • Daniel Nicol Dunlop in the Online-Dokumentation der anthroposophischen Forschungsstelle Kulturimpuls
  • Third Power, Second Dams Article in Time Magazine on 21 September 1936
  • ,1933, article on BEAMANature
  • ,1935, obituary for D. N. DunlopNature
  • Biographical article by Walter Johannes Stein

External links

  1. ^ J. F. Wilson, Ferranti and the British Electrical Industry, 1864-1930. Manchester University Press, 1988.[1]
  2. ^ History of BEAMA 1911:
  3. ^ WEC's History:
  4. ^ Index to The Irish Theosophist 1892–1897:
  5. ^ Index to The Lamp 1894–1900:
  6. ^ Index to The Path 1910–1914:
  7. ^ Rudolf Steiner in Britain by Crispian Villeneuve. Temple Lodge Press 2009 ISBN 1 906999 03 2
  8. ^ Wright, Rebecca; Shin, Hiroki; Trentmann, Frank (2013). From World Power Conference to World Energy Council: 90 Years of Energy Cooperation, 1923 - 2013.  


  • Thomas Meyer: D. N. Dunlop, A Man of Our Time. Temple Lodge Publishing (Oct. 1 1996) ISBN 978-0904693386
  • Eleanor C. Merry: Erinnerungen an Rudolf Steiner und D. N. Dunlop. Perseus, Basel 1992, ISBN 3-907564-11-1


  • Protean Man, London 1912
  • Symbols of Magic, London 1915
  • Studies in the Philosophy of Lorenz Oken. London 1916
  • Duty, London 1919
  • The Path of Knowledge, London 1920
  • Nature-Spirits and the Spirits of the Elements, London 1920

Selected published work


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