Fleeming Jenkin was educated at first in Scotland, but in 1846 the family went to live abroad, owing to financial straits, and he studied at Genoa University, where he took a first-class degree in physical science.
In 1882 Jenkin invented an automatic method of electric transport for goods - "telpherage" - but the completion of its details was prevented by his death on the 12th of June 1885.
His memoir of his friend Professor Fleeming Jenkin was published soon after his departure.
The relation between the effort and the resistance in a machine to include the effect of friction at the joints has been investigated in a paper by Professor Fleeming Jenkin, On the application of graphrc methods to the determination of the efficiency of machinery (Trans.
Later, in conjunction with Prof. Fleeming Jenkin, he devised his automatic curb sender, an appliance for sending signals by means of punched telegraphic paper tape.