Re: "How to use a barometer to measure the height of a building."
"He and Scottish universities never got on."
Indeed, Maxwell fell upwards from Edinburgh to Cambridge and after being laid off in Edinburgh fell upwards to the chair at KCL. The Wikipedia article suggests that the course at Edinburgh wasn't very demanding, so he then went to Cambridge and emerged as Second Wrangler.
It's a good example of how a career move or two can be beneficial.