Internal combustion locomotive engineers
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The Motor Rail & Tramcar Co. Ltd. was formed in 1911 and the first meeting of the directors, Mr. John Abbott (chairman) and accountant Mr. George Gale, took place at the registered office at 79 Lombard St., London. At this meeting George Gale was appointed company secretary at a salary of £100 per annum. John Abbott took one thousand shares in the new company, with George Gale taking one hundred. The intention of the new company was to manufacture and sell railcars and tramcars utilising petrol engines and the Simplex gearbox. The first vehicles were built at the Phoenix Ironworks at Lewes, Sussex. The arrangements for the use of these works cannot have been ideal because by 1914 the company was looking for new premises and several enquiries were made and sites visited. However, at a board meeting of October 1914 it was agreed that in view of the uncertainty of matters generally created by the war, the idea of a new works was to be abandoned for the present. However, the matter became urgent in 1916 after a meeting with the consulting engineers of the War Office, Messrs. Rendall, Palmer & Tritton. The War Office required Petrol Trench Tractors of 600-mm gauge that were capable of drawing 10 to 15 Tons at 5 miles per hour and the MRTC tendered for and was successful in gaining a contract to build the Tractors.
John Abbott had visited Germany in about 1911 and was alarmed at the stockpiles of light railway equipment for army use, including internal combustion locomotives. Worried that there was no British equivalent for use on temporary military supply railways, he set about designing such a machine. The first tractor was produced in 1915. Johns sons, Tom Dixon Abbott and John Dixon Abbott were also involved in the design of the so-called Simplex Tractor, and indeed they jointly submitted a patent application for the Tractor (No. 127399) in 1918.
Early in 1916 the MRTC entered into an agreement with the Bedford Engineering Company to use its premises at Houghton Road, Bedford and by May of that year had also opened its own office at 33 Houghton Road. John Abbott died on the 23rd of August 1916 and his eldest son, John Dixon Abbott was elected to the office of Chairman. The younger son, Tom Dixon Abbott had joined the board only a month before the death of his father. John remained as Chairman until 1957 and Tom would be actively involved until 1963.
Most of the workforce at Bedford was shared between locomotive and crane manufacture and the first Simplex Tractor produced at Bedford took 3 months to produce, but by the end of the year they could produce 20-25 per week using a workforce of less than 20. Tractors could be produced at this rate primarily due to the subcontracting of major parts manufacture. All major parts except the frame were bought in and final assembly took place at Bedford Engineering. Deliveries continued through 1917 and 1918, with over 700 tractors of 20 Horsepower and 40 Horsepower types delivered in 1918. At the start of 1918, a new site was purchased in Bedford, this being a former laundry in Elstow Road. Later that year, it was also possible to purchase further land at the front of the works, including the access road, and land at the rear including a rear access point. The company office moved to 16 Elstow Road in January. The first full batch of locos to be produced at the new works comprised works number 1642 onwards.
The following year John Dixon Abbott resigned from his post of General Manager, becoming Consulting Engineer to the company, a post that he retained during all his remaining years as Chairman. The post of General Manager was subsequently shared between Tom Dixon Abbott and a new appointee to the board, Alexander Harris-Brown.
Akroyd, Herbert Stuart
Born in Halifax, Yorkshire on 28 January1864; died Claremont, Western Australia, 19 February 1927. Inventor of compression-ignition oil engine later developed by Diesel. Educated St Bartholemew's Grammar School in and City & Guilds of London Technical College, Finsbury. Received early practical training in engineering works of his father, Charles Stuart Akroyd at Fenny Stratford. On death of his father became manager of the works. Began experimental work on oil engines in 1886 at Bletchley Iron Works which led to his discovery of automatic ignition by hot compressed air, or compression ignition. This was patented (7146) on 8.May.1890 and (15994) on 8.October.1890. In 1891 the sole right to manufacture and develop Akroyd oil engines was acquired by Richard Hornsby & Sons of Lincoln and Grantham. With the introduction of the engine in Germany the idea was taken up by Diesel who came to an agreement with Maschinenfabrik Augsburg, Nürnberg (MAN) in 1893 for Germany and with Krupp, Essen, for outside Germany. The diesel engine as evolved by MAN in 1897 differed from the Akroyd engine in using highly compressed air to inject and spray the charge of fuel oil while the Akroyd engine had a fuel oil pump and spraying nozzle. John Marshall.. Obituary (Proc.. Instn Mech. Engrs, 1927, 112, 577) lists him as Akroyd Stuart. Rutherford Backtrack, 2008, 22, 52 notes application to narrow gauge locomotives for the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich and for the Chattenden & Upnor Railway. Died a disappointed man in Western Australia according to Ronald M. Birse (ODNB) on 19 February 1927. Body brought back to Halifax for burial.
Presented IMechE paper on the economics of diesel versus steam traction on the North Western Railway of India where he was an Assistant Electric Traction Engineer. Later he was involved in developing an electrical business in Kerala
Attock, Martin Oldacres
Born in Lutterworth on 25 March 1909: son of George Henry Attock. Educated at Rugby School then apprentice at the Willans Works of English Electric between 1922 and 1930. Enjoyed a career commissioning English Electric traction products on British railways, notably the LMS and overseas, notably in Ceylon before WW2, and in several Commonwealth countries following it. Products included the LMS standard diesel electric shunting locomotive, the Bluebird diesel electric railcar tested on the LMS: on 26 January 1934 the car was run from Euston to Watford and back with Stanier at the controls on the return and Fairburn and Gresley as passengers. The diesel shunter was tested widely on the LMS including on the Glasgow Central underground line. Interesting diesel electric articulated train sets were introduced on both the Egyptian State Railways and Ceylon State Railways. Following WW2 he was involved in the LMS diesel electric locomotives Nos. 10000 and 10001, single unit railcars for Ceylon, and Co-Co diesel electric locomotives for the Malayan Railways and for Egypt. He retired in 1972 and died on 10 July 1982.
Patent (note patent information verified via Espacenet: excludes Patent application included by Shepherd)
803,945 Improvements in engine-driven electric generating plant, with Paul Alistair Angus. and English Electric. Applied 15 December 1954; published 5 November 1958.
Papers (note: the English Electric Journal citation came via Shepherd: Shepherd's reference to J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1962, 62, Paper No. 640 is a problem as the author did not list Attock as a co-author yet Attock js mentioned in rge discussion as the inventor of the techniques used in the tests!).
The diagnosis of faults in roller bearings in traction service, English Electric J., 1968, 23, (1).
Some ideas on the maintenance of diesel electric locomotives, with S. Fletcher, J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1960, 50 Paper No. 610
Shepherd, Ernie. The Atock/Attock family: a worldwide railway engineering dynasty. 2009. 264pp. (Oakwood Library of Railway History No. 150)
Traction Erection at English Electric Preston Pictured at Deltic roll-out Loco. Mag., 1955, 61, 190
Chief Engineer Traction Development Department at English Electric Bradford Pictured at Deltic roll-out Loco. Mag., 1955, 61, 190
Worked for William Bearmore & Co. lectured at Crewe Technical Engineering Society on advantages of electric transmission: see Loco. Mag., 1933, 39, 73.
Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric
Born Audenshaw, near Manchester on 24 February 1874; died 6 October 1946 (Wikipedia 13012012). Crewe trained engineer (no mention of Crewe in obituary: Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs., 1947, 156, 245 which mentions Mather & Platt and Manchester Univsersity) who contributed to the development of the internal combustion engine and its application to railway motive power. At the age of 24 he became a consulting engineer to Hubbard Textile Printing Works in St Petersburg, Russia. He returned to England and the Salford Iron Works where he rose to become general works manager and was largely responsible for redesigning the Mather-Reynolds pump manufactured at the plant. In 1913 he moved to Ruston and Hornsby in Lincoln. During WW1 he was appointed Deputy Controller of Aero Engines at the Ministry of Munitions In 1917 he was awarded a Telford Premium medal by the Institute of Civil Engineers, and was made a CBE for his wartime services. From 1918 to 1928 he worked for William Beardmore and Company designing high speed diesel engines. These engines had various applications ranging from use in railcars to the R101 airship. In 1929 he was nominated as Conservative candidate for the parliamentary constituency of Manchester Platting. Although unsuccessful on this occasion, two years later he was elected as Platting's Member of Parliament, unseating the sitting Labour member, John Clynes. He was elected President of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in 1933. At the 1935 election, Chorlton was elected MP for Bury. In 1939 he announced he would not be standing for parliament again, but remained Bury's member of parliament until he stood down at the next election in 1945. Author of Oil engine traction published by the Royal Society of Arts in 1932 and based on the Howard Lectures..
President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1933 (Presidential
Address, Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs., 1933, 125, 127-40) and author
of many papers including:
The heavy-oil engine on road and rail. Proc. Instn Automobile Engrs., 1929, 23, 502-40.
Examines the difficulty of combustion at high speeds; the Ackroyd Stuart and diesel engines; the Lincoln engine; and the Beardmore engine;
See also Rutherford Backtrack, 2008, 22, 52 and J.M. Doherty in Ransome-Wallis
Commercial Manager at English Electric Liverpool. Pictured at Deltic roll-out Loco. Mag., 1955, 61, 190
Romanian inventor of synchronizing mechanism for machine gun mounted on propeller driven aircraft and torque converter for automobiles and "locomotive": see Locomotive Mag., 1925, 31, 310-11.
Engineer on the Ulster Transport Authority: innovated transmission and control systems for the multi-engined railcars used mainly between Belfast and Bangor. see Backtrack, 2013, 27, 550.
Born in Pans 18 March 1858 when his parents were exiles from Bavaria; died during passage of North Sea on 29/30 September 1913. Educated in Paris. When war broke out in 1870 his parents moved to England, sending Rudolph to school in Augsburg, He then entered Munich Technical College where he graduated in 1879 and became assistant to Prof von Linde. After a short period doing practical work at Sulzer Bros works in Winterthur, he was appointed manager of the Paris works making von Linde refrigerating machinery. From his student days he was engrossed with the idea of a prime mover with a much higher thermal efficiency than the steam engine. He desigrled an engine which he described in 1893 in his book Theorie und Konstruktion eines rationellen Wärmemotors. An English translation followed in 1894. He was financed by Krupp and the Augsburg-Nuremberg Co for the construction of an engine to his design. The first diesel engine, a vertical stationary type, was built in 1893. It was not a success. His second, built immediately afterwards, while still not successful, proved his theories. His third, the first reliable diesel, was built by the Augsburg Co in 1897. It was a 4-stroke engine developing 18hp. Other engines followed, each embodying improvements. A large number of British, Continental and American firms took up the patents and many were built and used all over the world before Diesel died. By 1912 Diesel had established a successful 2-stroke engine, but it was not as economical as the 4-stroke. The first marine diesel engine was built\in France in 1903. Its first application to rail traction was in a Sulzer-Diesel loco completed at Winterthur in 1913 and supplied to the Central Railway Department of the Prussian-Hessian State Railway in March 1913. On trials it ran at speeds up to 60mph. Diesel is believed to have refused to allow his engine to be used for war purposes. On the night of 29 March 1913 he was on a steamer to Harwich to visit works at Ipswich. He was last seen about 22.00, but at Harwich the following morning he had disappeared. Marshall
Durtnall, William Peter
Born in Herne Bay in 1873; died Luton in 1947. Apprenticed to Willans at Rugby, he was a junior helper on the Heilmann steam electric locomotives of the 1890s. His early work as an electrical engineer was in London, including installing the first electrical system in the Cannon Street Hotel. The "Paragon" thermo-electric engine was developed and patented by Durtnall in the early years of the 20th century. He proposed a number of applications, including road, rail, marine and air transport. In 1906, Durtnall designed and constructed the first vehicle to be propelled by polyphase alternating current, generated on the vehicle itself. It took the form of a motor-omnibus that could travel at three different speeds. During WW1 Durtnall transferred from the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve to a temporary commission as a Captain in the Royal Air Force in April 1918. Post-WW1 he continued work on 'hybrid' drives, namely coupling a high speed internal combustion engine to generators or alternators that produced electricity for variable speed electric traction motors that drove ship's propellors or wheels on automobiles and locomotives. During 1920-3 Hawthorn Leslie built a twin bogie Paragon locomotive. He spent his later years in Luton, where died in 1947.See also Duffy. and Rutherford Backtrack, 2008, 22, 52 and Brian Reed British achievements in diesel traction. Rly Mag., 1976, 122, 16; paper on Paragon design mentioned in Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1927, 33, 100.
The evolution and development of the internal combustion railway locomotive. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1914, 4, 5-51. (Paper No. 27)
244,137 Improvements in closed circuit electrical regenerative motor systems. Applied 12 June 1924. Published 14 December 1925.
5394/1912 Improvements in and relating to internal combustion prime-movers, with Geoffrey Tatton Bowles. Applied 4 March 1912. Published 13 February 1913.
6758/1909 Improvements in and connected with electrical transmission of power, and speed regulation, for automobiles, road or rail trams, locomotives, hauling, hoisting, winding gear, and the like. Applied 20 March 1909. Published 12 May 1910
23396/1908 Improvements in the generation of electrical power, and means of speed regulation in electrical propulsion of ships, railway, tramway, or other road or similar vehicles, locomotives, trains, and the like. Applied 2 November 1908. Published 28 October 1909.
27096/1905 Improvements in motor systems with electric transmission for the propulsion of railway, tramway, road or similar vehicles, boats and the like. with Ernest William Hart. Applied 28 December 1905. Published 28 March 1907.
17248/1905 Improvements in and connected with the propulsion of railway, tramway, road or similar vehicles, boats and the like, with Ernest William Hart. Applied 25 August 1905. Published 5 July 1906
Accompanied Royal Scot non-stop London to Glasgow run on 1 June 1949: LMR diesel inspector: see Locomotive Mag., 1949, 55, 98-9.
"The Colonel, as we affectionately came to know him, was a charming character, a fine engineer, very knowledgeable about railway operation, and had, until his death on 27th November, 1977, a lively inventive brain. He was always enthusiastic and never got downhearted when bad luck intervened and things went wrong. I believe he had been a cathedral chorister, and he had received his engineering training at Doncaster Plant works. By the time I knew him he had retired from the air force and was traction engineer in the diesel section of Rolls-Royce at Derby." Langridge Under ten CMEs V. 2.
Senior electrical inspector (locomotives) at Derby. Involved with LMS Nos. 10000 and 10001: see Hunt, LMS Journal, 2011, (33) 41=2.
Diesel fitter at Willesden who became Mechanical Foreman in 1949 and later moved to Camden. In 1954 he became District Diesel Instructor and in 1965 was Divisional Rolling Stock Inspector. Keith Miles LMS Journal Issue 30 p. 13 who cites Ahead 1965 May
Haworth, Harold Firth
Born in 1882, and received his technical education at Liverpool University under Prof. Hele-Shaw, and subsequently at Zurich University. He obtained the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Basle University, Master of Science at Victoria University and Bachelor of Engineering at Liverpool University. He was appointed Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the City and Guilds Engineering College until 1914, when he joined the London Electrical Engineers Branch of the Royal Engineers. At the end of WW1 he returned for a short time to the City and Guilds Engineering College, and in 1920 was appointed to take charge of Technical Instruction of Engineer Apprentices at Leyland Motors, including much experimental and research work. He was subsequently appointed Chief Technical Officer, and retained this post until his death on 18 June 1939. Developed LMS articulated streamlined railcar with Hornbuckle: J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1939, 29, 260-84. Disc.: 284-303. (Paper No. 400) which had to be presented by Ron Jarvis due to illness of both authors, Chacksfield's Ron Jarvis p. 39 mis-transcribes name as Hayworth..
Hornbuckle, Thomas [Tommy]
Born in 1880. Served apprenticeship with Richard Horsby & Sons of Grantham, developers and manufacturers of Ackroyd Stuart oil engine used in narrow gauge railway locomotives in Woolwich Arsenal and in Chatham Dockyard. Joined MR at Derby in 1901 as a draughtsman and was involved in the MR's project to use electricity at the Company's new harbour at Heysham: this included a power station, cranes and the railway to Lancaster at 6,600 volts alternating current. Hornbuckle gained an external BSc from Nottingham Univseristy. During the 1930s Hornbuckle was involved in assessing external purchases of diesel shunting locomotives and railcars. Backtrack, 18, 84. Chacksfield's excellent biography of Ron Jarvis (pp. 37-45 and also 95) mentions his subject's involvement in the diesel railcar project and makes it clear that Stanier was closely involved to ensure that it was lightweight. Terry Jenkins notes that Hornbuckle was Sir Ernest Lemon's brother-in-law and discusses the relationship between Fairburn and Hornbuckle and the probably false interpretation of this by Cox..
with Haworth, H.F. A diesel train with multiple axle drives. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1939, 29, 260-84. Disc.: 284-303. (Paper No. 400)
Discussion on Simpson, T.F.B. Diesel locomotive building and maintenance. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1957, 47, 131-62. Page 170-1. (Paper No. 570)
At Derby Works, where speaker was Works Manager.Discussion: T. Hornbuckle (170-1) gave a brief historical description of how the LMS developed diesel shunting locomotives in the early 1930s, and the key influence of the Hunslet demonstrator locomotive working on the LMS.
Participated in the discussion at an IMechE meeting on torque converters in response to a paper by Haworth of Leyland on the Lysholm-Smith torque converter. Proc. Instn Mech Engrs., 1935, 130, 261-2
Also contributed to discussion of A. Allen's (Paper 347) Rail cars in service in Northern Ireland. J. Instn Loco Engrs, 1936, 26, 38-40.
Rutherford, Backtrack, 2002, 16, 515: skeletal diagram p. 516. notes that Hornbuckle, Clayton, Bulleid (then of LNER) and Hall of Sweindon were involved in proposals for one-man coal-fired shunting locomotive of Sentinel type..
In a subsequent article Rutherford
(Backtrack, 18, 172) notes that the result of the struggle
between Tommy Hornbuckle and Charles Fairburn was a foregone conclusion;
Fairburn was another of Sir Harold's proteges (as William Stanier had been)
and was earmarked for higher office. When Hornbuckle died in 1958, the editor
of Diesel Railway Traction wrote of him,"Almost inknown, even in name,
to those of the present generation engaged in diesel traction in England,
Tommy Hornbuckle, who died at the age of 77 on February 1st, was probably
the first vital force in time in the diesel conversion of British railways.
He had claims to be considered as the father of diesel locomotives on British
public railways, for though he was inconnected with the first two isolated
trials of diesel units on the old Group railways, he came into the picture
with the third, and fathered and forwarded the new units and their possibilities,
despite fresh and ruthless pressures on him, until his retirement eight years
later, when diesels for shunting were firmly established, and much consideration
had been given to railcars and even to line-service locomotives."
"[His] contribution ... far exceeded his work with pre-war shunters ... a man with altogether exceptional engineering judgment, he had a breadth of railway knowledge and appreciation that brought his own ... daily work ... quietly into line with the general railway picture. ... Moreover, he was able to train others ... several of Hornbuckle's young men ... now hold high positions on British Railways."
Coming into contact ... with the pioneers of the British diesel locomotive building industry, Hornbuckle also had a not inconsiderable influence in this sphere among those who had ears to hear ... Indeed it is among the dwindling band of men who were in this field before 1939 that the memory of Tommy Hombuckle is likely to be maintained fresh and green; for, as untouched by railway internal frictions and jockeying for position as was Hornbuckle himself, these men could appreciate him more at his true worth. Largely because of his selflessness and his rejection of personal power as a thing to be striven after, Hornbuckle was greater than his physical works; and his undoubted technical ability, judgment and moral influence passed into men more than into things."
That was written by Brian Reed who himself had been involved in pioneer diesel traction at Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. in the 1920s. Stewart Cox related, "[There was] a personal contest between Hombuckle, the true originator, [of the diesel shunter development programme] and Fairburn, who developed these ideas far away from the intentions of their initiator. As a matter of fact, Tommy Hornbuckle was no match, either in position or capacity, for his formidable chief, and before long he retired from the fray, a somewhat embittered man..
Hughes, John O.P.
Designer of Vulcan Foundry English Electric 4-6-0 gas turbine locomotive with drive via a gearbox rather than through electric transmission. Locomotive described in Tufnell's Prototype locomotives. Connection with Hughes mentioned in Johnson and Long. and in Bond's Lifetime with locomotives (p. 261). See also Edward Talbot Backtrack, 2012, 26, 185.
Kettering, Charles Franklin
Born near Loudonville, Ohio, on 29 August 1876; died Dayton, Ohio, 25 November 1958. Pioneer of railway diesel traction in the USA. Graduated in mechanical engineering at Ohio State University in 1904, Began with Star Telephone Co, Ashland: later with National Cash Register Co, Dayton, Ohio. Served 27 yrs as vice president of General Motors Corpn and as general manager of research laboratories division. Responsible for GM diesel engines. Developed high-speed two-stroke types up to 3,000bhp. His engines were specially developed for rail traction. In 1935 he predicted that in twenty years no more steam locosmotives would be built in the USA. In 1927 he formed the Charles F Kettering Foundation for research into diseases including cancer. Le Fleming in P Ransome Wallis (ed.), The concise encyclopaedia of world railway locomotives and probably elsewhere therein, but tome lacks an index and John Marshall.
Chief designer Rolling Stock Design at English Electric Preston Pictured at Deltic roll-out Loco. Mag., 1955, 61, 190
Co-inventor with Percy Grierson Robinson of Still diesel/steam locomotives: Patennt GB 200,586 Improvements relating to locomotives. Applied 13 April 1922; Published 13 July 1923: see Locomotive Mag., 1923, 29, 355.
Traction Development Department at English Electric Bradford Pictured at Deltic roll-out Loco. Mag., 1955, 61, 190
Mensforth, Sir Holberry
Born near Bradford (Yorks.) on 1 May 1871. Died Hazlemere on 5 September 1951. Humble origins and educated via mechanics institutes. Briefly ran his own gear cutting business, but joined B.H. Thwaite manufacturer of gas engines. In 1903 he joined Westinghouse at Trafford Park in Manchester and became General Manager thereat in 1917. He was recruited by Geddes to assist with the smooth transition from munitions manufacture to peacetime work. Received KCB in 1923. Briefly Chairman of English Electric, before being replaced by his General Manager, George Nelson. Retired in 1943. ODNB entry by Geoffrey Tweedale and Rutherford article in Bactrack, 2008, 22, 100.
Of AEC and involved with GWR diesel railcars and early British Railways development: see Langridge Under ten CMEs 2 pp. 162-3
See Loco. Mag... 1918, 24, 118-19. for diesel electrtic system with electricity storage (dynamotor)
Priestman, William Dent
Born in Sutton near Hull on 23 August 1847. Quaker educated at Bootham School. Apprenticed at Humber Iron Works, thence at Gateshead Works of NER, Worked for Sir William Armstrong & Sons. Offered a Partnership in R.&W. Hawthorn, but his father acquired Holderness Factory in Hull on his behalf. Here hevay oil internal combustion engines were developed. These were used in barges, and according to Rutherford Backtrack, 2008, 22, 52 in a single locomotive used on the Hull & Barnsley Railway. Died in Hull on 7 September 1936. ODNB entry by James Dent Priestman.
Cummins, C. Lyle and Priestman, J.D. William Dent Priestman, oil engine pioneer and inventorhis engine patents 1885-1901. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs, Part A: Power Process Engg, 1986, 200 A2, 69-80.
Pupil at Armstrong-Whitworth in 1927-8. Subsequently worked on diesel traction in Ceylon
Ricardo, Sir Harry
Born in London on 26 January 1885; died 18 May 1974. Ricardo was one of the foremost engine designers and researchers in the early years of the development of the internal combustion engine. He improved on the engines that were used in the first tanks, oversaw the research into the physics of internal combustion that led to the use of octane ratings, was instrumental in development of the sleeve valve engine design, and invented the diesel pre-combustion chamber that made high-speed diesel engines possible. Educated at Rugby School and at Trinity College, Cambridge as a civil engineering student. In 1904, he entere the University Automobile Club's event, which was a competition to design a machine that could travel the furthest on a quart of petrol. His engine was a single cylinder one and the heaviest entered, but his motorcycle design nevertheless won the competition, having covered a distance of forty miles. He was then persuaded to join the Professor of Mechanism and Applied Mechanics, Bertram Hopkinson, working on research into engine performance. He graduated with a degree in 1906 and spent a further year researching at Cambridge.
Before graduation, Ricardo had designed a two-stroke motorcycle engine to study the effect of mixture strength upon the combustion process. When he graduated, a small firm, Messrs Lloyd and Plaister, showed an interest in making the engine. Ricardo produced designs for two different sizes, and the smaller one sold about 50 engines until 1914, when the war halted production. In 1909 he designed a two-stroke 3.3 litre engine, for his cousin Ralph Ricardo, who had started up a small car manufacturing company, Two Stroke Engine Company, at Shoreham-by-Sea. The engine was used in a car called the Dolphin. The cars were well made but it became apparent that they were costing more to make than the selling price. The company had better luck making two-stroke engines for fishing boats. However, in 1911 the firm folded and Ralph left for India. Ricardo continued to design engines for small electric lighting sets, that were produced by two companies up to 1914.
In 1915 Ricardo set up a new company, Engine Patents Ltd. to develop the engine that would eventually be used in the first successful tank design, the British Mark V. The Daimler engine used in the Mark I created excessive smoke, which gave away its position. Ricardo was asked to look at the problem of reducing exhaust gases and decided that a new engine was needed. Existing companies were able to undertake construction of such an engine but not the design, so Ricardo designed it himself. As well as having reduced smoke emissions, the new engine was much more powerful than the existing ones. The new six-cylinder engine produced 150 h.p., compared with 105 h.p., and later modifications produced 225 h.p. and 260 h.p.
In 1917 his old mentor, Bertram Hopkinson, who was now Technical Director at the Air Ministry, invited him to join the new engine research facility at the Department of Military Aeronautics, later to become the RAE. In 1918 Hopkinson was killed while flying a Bristol Fighter, and Ricardo took over his position. From that point on the department produced a string of experimental engines and research reports that constantly drove the British, and world, engine industry.
One of his first major research projects was on the problems of pre-ignition, known as knocking or pinging. To study the problem he built a variable-compression test engine: this led to the development of an octane rating system for fuels, and considerable investment into octane improving additives and refining systems. The great reduction in fuel use as a result of higher-octane fuel was directly responsible for allowing Alcock and Brown to fly the Atlantic in their Vickers Vimy bombers adapted with his modifications.
In 1919 Ricardo was studying the phenomena affecting the combustion within the petrol engine and the diesel engine. He realised that turbulence within the combustion chamber increased flame speed, and that he could achieve this by offsetting the cylinder head. He also realised that making the chamber as compact as possible would reduce the distance that the flame had to travel and would reduce the likelihood of detonation. He later developed the induction swirl chamber, which was an attempt to achieve orderly air motion in a diesel engine, the swirl being initiated by inclined ports and accentuated by forcing the air into a small cylindrical volume. Finally he developed the compression swirl chamber for diesel engines. This design embodied intense swirl with a reasonable rate of pressure rise and good fuel consumption. The compression swirl chamber design was called a Comet design and was subsequently licensed to several companies for use in trucks, buses, tractors and cranes, as well as private cars and taxis. A Comet combustion chamber was used in the first AEC diesel buses operated in 1931 by London Transport. In 1922 and 1923 Ricardo published a two-volume work The Internal Combustion Engine
In 1927 he formed Ricardo Consulting Engineers in Shoreham-by-Sea. Although Ricardo did not invent the sleeve valve, in 1927, he produced a seminal research paper that outlined the advantages of the sleeve valve, and suggested that poppet valve engines would not be able to offer power outputs much beyond 1500 hp (1,100 kW). A number of sleeve valve aircraft engines were developed following this paper, notably by Napier, Bristol and Rolls-Royce. Bristol produced the Perseus, Hercules, Taurus and the Centaurus, Napier produced the Napier Sabre and Rolls-Royce produced the Eagle and Crecy, all using sleeve valves. In 1929 Ricardo was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. Ricardos work on the sleeve valve affected the development of British aircraft engines in the 1930s and during WW2. He even enhanced the famous Rolls-Royce Merlin engine in the Mosquito by giving it an oxygen enrichment system to improve its performance. Ricardo assisted in the design of the combustion chambers and fuel control system of Sir Frank Whittles jet engine. In 1944 Ricardo was elected president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In 1948 Ricardo was knighted in recognition for his work in the field of internal combustion engineering. Wikipedia.
Bulleid sought advice from Ricardo for the Leader class which used sleeve valves and for the CIE turf burner on the design of compact steam engines. See H.A.V. Bulleid;'s biography of his father..
Saccaggio, Pedro Celestino
Born in Italy at San Giorgio Canavese on 2 January 2 1876. Taken to Argentina when six and died there on 2 August 2 1959. When twelve he began work in the workshops of the Central Argentine Railway. Associated with the mobile power house method of diesel electric traction and many patents associated with this and a system for inter-vehicle couplings. His mobile power house system was described in Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1933, 39, 18:
GB 442,162 Improvements relating to diesel-electric generating sets. Applied 3 August 1934. Published 3 February 1936:
GB 441,138 Improvements relating to the body or frame structures of engines, particularly internal combustion engines. Applied 13 July 1934: published 13 January 1936:
GB 440,039 Improvements relating to the control of mixed power installations. Applied 19 June 1934: published 19 December 1935:
GB 403,680 Improvements in and relating to the control of mixed power installations. Applied 22 June 1932.: published 22 December 1933.
GB 403,636 Improvements relating to the body or frame structures of engines, particularly internal combustion engines. Applied 22 June 1932.: published 22 December 1933.
GB 403,635 Improvements in and connected with power transmission gearing for the running axles of vehicles. Applied 22 June 1932.: published 22 December 1933.
GB 359,980 Improvements in and relating to the regulation of electric generators. Applied 30 July 1930: published 30 October 1931.
GB 359,030 Improvements in and relating to the regulation of electric generators. Applied 17 July 1930: published 19 October 1931.
GB 316,351 Improvements in and connected with coupling devices for rail vehicles. Applied 27 April 1928: published 29 July 1929.
GB 305,156 Improvements in electric power transmission controllers for locomotive and other vehicles. Applied 1 November 1927: published 1 February 1929.
GB 301,339 Improvements in and connected with the propulsion of railway trains or the like by electricity. Applied 27 July 1927: published 27 November 1928:
GB 301,004 Improvements in or connected with control mechanism for hydraulic power transmission gearing. Applied 23 August 1927: published 23 November 1928:
GB 300,977 Improvements in or relating to fluid pressure transmission mechanism for locomotives and other purposes. Applied 20 August 1927: published 20 November 1928:
GB 299,830 Improvements in or connected with toothed gearing. Applied 2 August 1927: published 2 November 1928:
GB 299,352 Improvements in or relating to the cooling of liquids in locomotive vehicles. Applied 23 July 1927: published October 1928:
GB 297,868 Improvements in and connected with transmission gearing. Applied 29 June 1927: published October 1928:
GB 297,141 Improvements in and connected with transmission gearing for the axles of railway vehicles. Applied 15 June 1927. Published 17 September 1929.
GB 173,991 Improved apparatus for operating the brakes of railway and other vehicles and for other purposes. Applied 12 March 1921: published January 1922:
Robinson, Percy Grierson
Co-inventor with Oliver Margetson of Still diesel/steam locomotives: Patennt GB 200,586 Improvements relating to locomotives. Applied 13 April 1922; Published 13 July 1923: see Locomotive Mag., 1923, 29, 355.
See ILocoE Paper 521 by Dymond on gas turbine locomotives where criteria for successful train heating boilers were set out by E.F. Spanner on page 305. Also A1A Locomotive Society website.
Managing director Drewry Car Co. Ltd. had been associated with Company for thirty years prior to daeth from pneumonis following influenza. Obituary Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1933, 39, 93.
Tayler, Arthur T.H.
Tayler had been on Southern Railway Chief Electrical Engineer's staff since 1942 and was sent on an exchange course to English Electric Company to study diesel engines, and on return to the Southern Region was put in charge of the maintenance of the Region's diesel-electric shunters. Author of Newcomen Society paper: 600/750V DC electric and electro-diesel locomotives of the Southern Railway and its successors and long letter in Backtrack (1998) on British Railways traction policy. Also wrote a book on North American railways..
Class 47 diesels. with W.G.F. Thorley and T.J. Hill. London: Ian Allan, 1979. 96pp.
This was Thorley's book, but he died before it could be completed: Tayler completed the task.
Sulzer types 2 and 3. London: Ian Allan, 1984. 96pp.
Author of several books on diesel traction and on locomotives in general. Letter in Backtrack, 1998, 12, 637 notes that he was on the LMS during the ten years up to 1939, in the Electrical Engineers Department. There we felt the same frustrations with the management and the only electrification we managed to get done during that period was the miniscule line from Manchester to Altrincham, now part of the 'Metrolink'. We electrified the main line many times on paper at 750 volts, at 1,500 volts and at 3,000 volts, all de but it was not until the advent of the mercury are rectifier that it became at all possible. The Weir report of 1931 gave us great hopes, but it was only realised on the Southern and how we envied its progressive General Manager. On the LMS we were still living under the shock of the O'Brien episode and everyone kept a very low profile.
It was Ivatt's design of bogie that made the Brush Class 31s so successful as he was our consultant and full of interesting tales about the early days of No. 10000: it was such a shame that it was scrapped, but perhaps one day a replica may be made. Incidentally, the English Electric diesels were not made at Rugby, but at Preston. Rugby built the larger 15in bore engines for marine and industrial use, though it was there that the high speed (l,500rpm) 'U' engine was developed. That was originally intended for the HST and I had many discussions with Terry Miller about that. Unfortunately lack of development money caused the cancellation of that engine - typically British. The German engines on the Western Region were also considered, but perhaps fortunately not chosen. Some twenty years later I wrote a paper entitled 'The Engine that never ran a Mile' and, basing it on Kettering's famous paper on the development of the GM 567 engine, it was awarded the Institution's silver medal for the best paper of the year.
Wilkin, Anthony Vivian
Born in 1901; died suddenly on 11 January 1963. General Manager of English Electric Companys Diesel Engine Division. Educated at Huish School, Taunton, received his early training at Taunton and Chester Technical Colleges followed by four years pupilage from 1919 to 1923 at the Works of Sandycroft Limited, Chester. In 1923 appointed Technical Representative, Ruston and Hornsby Ltd. and in 1932 he left to take charge of the Diesel Engine Department of Belliss and Morcom Ltd. Joined The English Electric Company in 1943 as Manager of the Diesel Engine Sales Department, becoming General Manager of the Diesel Engine Division six years later. He was a member of the Boards of the English Electric Export and Trading Co. Ltd. and of W. H. Dorman and Son. Ltd. For twelve years he served on the Council of the British Internal Combustion Engine Manufacturers Association, for two as Chairman of the Council and for eight as Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee. Obituary: J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1962, 52, 657.