Born: December 9, 1929;

Died: October 22, 2021.

JACK Jardine, who has died at the age of 92, had already had a successful career in engineering and sales behind him, working and travelling extensively in Europe and the US, when he launched his own company, Elcomatic Ltd, in 1966.

Like many start-ups before and since, its beginnings were decidedly modest. Its first home was an attic above a garage near the Renfrew Ferry, but it grew rapidly and went on to achieve success in many fields.

Jardine had been called up for national service with the RAF in 1952, undergoing his induction course on the Isle of Man and being awarded the Sword of Honour, and qualifying the following year as a navigation officer.

For the rest of his service he was stationed in Summerside, on Canada’s Prince Edward Island. He saw his national service as a completely new opening to the future and was fascinated by erodynamic research and design.

He was released early from service when the Royal Technical College in Glasgow, now Strathclyde University, invited him to do a postgraduate diploma in electronics, specialising in servomechanisms. He graduated in 1954 and went to work for Barr and Stroud as an R&D engineer.

In 1955, he became an engineer for the US company Honeywell Brown, based in Newhouse, North Lanarkshire. In January 1957, he was seconded to its parent company in Minneapolis, but first had to bring forward his wedding to Doreen, whom he had met at Giffnock’s Tudor dance hall.

They lived in Minneapolis for four months before he was transferred to the instrument division in Philadelphia, to determine the latest developments in data-handling systems and to set up a manufacturing team in the UK.

On returning to Scotland in 1958, he joined Kelvin Hughes Ltd, where he was responsible for UK and overseas sales of industrial products, travelling extensively in Europe and the US. He left to start up Elcomatic in 1966.

A couple of years later, Scottish Co-ordinated Investments invited him to join them. Elcomatic moved to a 20,000sqft factory unit in Neilston, and began designing and manufacturing electronic control systems and recording equipment.

In 1976, it began making mid- to high-quality microscopes for medical, university and research applications when it acquired another company, Gillett and Sibert. In 1987, Jardine was involved in the development of the Tropical Medical Microscope, which it helped distribute in tropical Africa.

It was ideally suited to diagnosing the most important tropical diseases, and a solar panel was produced to ensure that it could be used in the most remote places.

Because of its high quality and durability, the microscope continues to be used in many district hospitals and health centres in Africa, enabling patients to receive an accurate diagnosis.

The charity Amref Health Africa, which works in sub-Saharan Africa, forever remained close to Jardine’s heart.

In the 1980s, Elcomatic was the only supplier worldwide of sound ranging equipment, and also established a strong niche position in the eight-inch floppy disc drive sector. One of its moving message display units could be seen in the reception area of the BBC’s popular hospital series, Casualty.

In the early 2000s, Elcomatic made over 100,000 automated teller machines, which were shipped to National Cash Register in Dundee, where they were combined with a cash dispenser before being built into hole-in-the-wall machines, or ATMs.

In the late-1990s and early-2000s, Elcomatic also operated as an education centre, authorised to issue SVQ certificates to students working on their printed circuit board repair lines. Jardine retired in 2011, aged 82, shortly after Elcomatic had relocated to Irvine.

John Jardine was born to William and Frances Jardine 92 years ago today on December 9, 1929, in Glasgow. His academic ability earned him a bursary for Allan Glen’s School, where the emphasis was on science and engineering. He was a sergeant in the Boys’ Brigade and served from 1942 to 1948.

After graduating in 1947, he studied electrical engineering at London University by means of distance learning through Paisley Technical College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1951.

Ever active, during his student years he played rugby on Saturday mornings and football in the afternoons before going dancing in the evening. While studying for his degree he also tutored students.

His first daughter, Kimberley, was born in Philadelphia during the time he and Doreen were living there. By 1962, the couple had had two more children, William and Beverley, and the family moved from Glasgow to Barassie, Ayrshire, where he had just had his first house built. He added an extension, using underfloor heating as its heat source.

In the mid-1970s he moved the family again, to Troon, where his second house was built, complete with granny flat. In the mid-1990s, he undertook his final housing project, converting a large property in Troon into flats, one of which he and Doreen later moved into.

Apart from DIY projects and a brief foray into the world of racing in the 1970s, with a quarter share of a racehorse and, later, a share of a greyhound, his main hobby was golf. He had been a member of Royal Troon Golf Club since 1975. When latterly he was unable to play the course, he always enjoyed socialising at the 19th hole.

He is survived by his younger sister, Olive, and by Doreen, Kimberley, William and Beverley, five grandchildren and six