The railways employed many other professionals: notably chemists, metallurgists, etc. Also key figures in railway preservation, public relations and advertising.
Allen, G.H. Loftus
Head of LNWR Advertising and Publicity Department and of the LMS from 1927. He had joined the LNWR in 1913 and served as an RTO in France during WW1. From September 1923 he spent six months in the USA in connection with a scheme for goods representation of the LMS in the USA. Ellis. London Midland & Scottish. Died on 10 August 1945: brief obituary Locomotive Mag., 1945, 51, 127. Charles Potter. In the offices of the LMS. Backtrack, 1998, 12. 454.
Leonard (duplicate entry)
Archbutt was appointed chemist by Samuel Johnson, the Midland Railway locomotive superintendent, in 1881. Archbutt became a major figure among railway chemists and held office for 40 years. Archbutt was possibly fortunate in marrying the daughter of the next locomotive superintendent of the Midland, R.M. Deeley, but whether it was because of his marriage or as a true reflection of his ability is unknown, although he was paid the extraordinary salary for the time of £1,000 per annum. However, his achievements were many and not all confined to railway chemistry. For example, in 1890 he was co-author of a paper on the Thermodynamics of the Vacuum Brake, then co-inventor with Deeley of a water softening process and joint author (again with Deeley) of a standard text book on Lubrication, first published in 1900. Third edition reviewed Loco. Mag., 1912, 18, 135. Fifth edition reviewed Locomotive Mag., 1927, 33, 203. He became a Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry in 1888 and was a distinguished member of both the Society of Chemical Industry and the Institute of Metals. Wise Railway Research. Russell.
Louth chemist and photographer who developed an explosive device which served as a detonator to warn locomotive drivers to stop. He and his family killed in an explosion at his home on 17 November 1849: see A.J. Ludham, Backtrack, 1999, 13, 385.
Blades, Holland Y.
Retirement announced of Holland Y. Blades one of the three Joint Managing Directors of C. C. Wakefield & Co. Blades, sixty-eight, had been associated with his company for over half a century and was the last serving member of the original staff of eight who joined Viscount Wakefield when he founded the firm in I899. Blades actually relinquished his office at the end of the year but continued as an Ordinary Director of the Company. See Locomotive Mag., 1949, 55, 168
Author of Pembrokeshire and South West Wales. Great Western Railway publication (reviewed Locomotive Mag., 1930, 36, 324). Author of Highways and Byways in South Wales. 1903.
Brebner, J.H. [Jock]
Head of public relations and publicity at the British Transport Commission. Formerly with London Passenger Transport Board and before that the Post Office and with Ministry of Information from 1937. Credited with founding public relations and Gourvish credited him with a "textbook" which unless it is part of grey literature was a pamhlet issued in 1949 and again in 1969. Pearson Man of the rail recorded that Brebner had previously served Lord Ashfield in a similar capacity at the London Passenger Transport Board and before that had had a distinguished career at the Post Office. Jock Brebner was a tall, heavily-built man in his forties, with a ruddy complexion and a determined mouth. He was used to getting his own way, and when roused he had a very fierce aspect. Of course, behind it he was sentimental and kind, but in his business dealings he kept this hidden. He was especially knowledgeable about public relations, particularly in relation to the Press. He once told me that when he was appointed to the Commission he had been informed he would be functionally responsible for all the public relations and publicity of the Executives, as well as of the Commission itself. This was not the understanding, for example, that the Railway Executive had. They took the view that these matters were an integral part of management, for which they had been established by the Act of 1947. In no time there was friction, and Slim and Brebner and the members of the Executive and the Commission were involved. The arguments went backwards and forwards, and became bitter. The Railway Executive stood firm.
Chapman, Walter George
Clark, Thomas (duplicate
Born in Ayr on 30 March 1801; died in Glasgow on 27 November 1867. Son of a shipmaster, he was educated at Ayr Academy and exhibited a gift for mathematics. In 1816 he began work as an accountant in the firm owned by Charles Macintosh, the inventor of rubberized waterproof cloth. Macintosh was associated with Charles Tennant, another of Glasgow's principal industrialists, and when Macintosh realized that Clark was far more interested in chemistry than in accountancy he recommended his transfer to Tennant's employ. In 1826 Clark was appointed lecturer in chemistry at the Glasgow Mechanics' Institution. In 1827 Clark became a medical student at Glasgow University with the aim of teaching chemistry in medical schools. In 1829 he became an apothecary at Glasgow Infirmary and two years later obtained his MD degree. He published a few papers on pharmacy and in 1833 became professor of chemistry in the Marischal College, Aberdeen. He was a founder member of the Chemical Society. ODNB biography by E.L. Scott Russell and Hudson in their excellent Early railway chemistry show that Clark's patented system of water softening (UK 8875/1841 Purifying znd softening certain waters, for the use of manufactories, villages, town and cities 8 March 1841 via Woodcroft) although rejected by Brunel was to become important, especially when enhanced by J.H. Porter to filter out the precipitate.
LMS Estates Manager: see Szlumper diaries
Cole, Sir Henry
Born Bath 15 July 1808. Educated Christ's Hospital. As well as being a civil servant he was a successful journalist on the Railway Chronicle and was greatly iinvolved in the Great Exhibition and the establishment of the museums in South Kensington based on the Exhibition's profits. In spite of being an untidy portly figure he clearly had influnce with Prince Albert. Creator of Brompton Boilers, the precursor of the Science Museum. Died in London on 18 April 1882. ODNB biography by Ann Cooper. See also Dunstone..
Founder-editor and managing director of weekly Modern Transport died in Cape Town on 11 March. At the time of his death Coleman was acting as a delegate representing the British technical press at the Imperial Press Conference which has been touring South Africa. He was 56 years of age. Born in Norfolk and educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Darlington, Coleman served in the Traffic Dept. of the North Eastern Railway from 1894 to 1906. He then entered journalism and for some time was a regular contributor to The Times. During WW1 he joined the Artists' Rifles, serving as Assistant Adjutant at the Railway Troops Depot at Longmoor. Later, at the War Office he acted in a liaison capacity with the Railway Executive Committee in connection with the recruitment ancl allocation of men drawn from the railways for military service. Subsequently, he was responsible for the organisation on a "War Establishment" basis of the personnel at the Transportation Depot and Train Ferry Terminal at Richborough. Demobilised in 1918 with the rank of Major, he was mainly instrumental in March 1919 in founding Modern Transport, and it was largely due to his enterprise and ability that that journal owes the position it has attained in the world of transport and technical journalism. Obituary Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 125
Curtis, Frederick Francis Charles
Born in Germany in 1903; died 1975. Came to Britain in 1933 and worked for Southern Railway. Moved to Adams, Holden & Pearson in 1936 and in 1947 replaced Brian Lewis as Architect on the GWR;became Chief Architect of the Western Region; then for British Railways. Held a doctorate. Responsible for Central Line extension stations at Hanger Lane, Perivale and Greenford. Ovenden. Paper: Railway architecture in Instn Civ. Engrs Proc: Engineering Divisions, 1954, 3,172 82 [greedy "Charity" charges £24 for copy of this paper]
Dandridge, Cecil Gerald Graham
Born 29 August 1890, died 17 November 1960. Served WW1: Major Royal Engineers; included service in Russia. Married Princess Olga Galitzine.in 1924. District Traffic Superintendent, Anatolian Railway, Turkey, 1919; Assistant District Traffic Manager, GCR, Manchester, 1921; District Passenger Manager, LNER, Manchester, 1923; London District Passenger Manager, LNER, 1926; Advertising Manager, LNER, 1928; Assistant Passenger Manager, Southern Area, LNER, 1942, Passenger Manager, 1944; Chairman., Railway. Executive Passenger Committee, 194647; Acting Goods Manager, Southern. Area, LNER (in addition to Passenger Manager), 1947 Chief Commercial Manager, Eastern Region, British Railways, Liverpool St, 194855; retired 1955 CVO, 1948. See also Allan Middleton: It's quicker by rail. D.C.H. Watts. Railway poster advertising, circa 1900-39. J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2001, 33, 531.
Solicitor Great Central Railway. see Backtrack, 2017, 31, 83.
Major Dewar appointed Publicity Officer by the Great Western Railway in 1934. He had been on the headquarters staff of the Briitsh Empire Exhibition and had been on the Empire Marketing Board. He attempted to tone down Maxwell Fraser's prose. See Alan Bennett Backtrack, 2017, 31, 25
Swann was succeeded as chemist at Crewe Works by another Chester College student, John Dods, but hr left after three years and was succeeded by his assistant Joseph Reddrop. Wise Railway Research. Hunt LMS Journal (17) 37 spells name Dodds.
Erichsen, John Eric
Born in Copenhagen on 19 July 1818; died in Folkestone 23 September 1896 (ODNB entry). Professor of Surgery at University College London who wrote about railway injuries (Ottley 11482). See Backtrack, 2013, 27, 760. (includes portrait)
Fieldhouse, William John
Born 1858; died 28 October 1928. Educated Newport Grammar School. Head of George H. Hughes Ltd, St Stephens Wheel Works, Birmingham. Worked with Sir John Furley on design and provision of hospital trains (ambulance trains) during Boer and First World Wars. Who's Who also Locomotive Mag., 1915, 21, 98
Frankland, Sir Edward
Born on 18 January 1825 at Garstang, Lancashire; died on 9 August 1899 at Golaa Gudbrandsdal, Norway, and buried in Reigate churchyard on 22 August. These biographical details come from an extremely long ODNB entry by Colin A. Russell. Russell and Hudson in their excellent Early railway chemistry introduce Frankland in their first chapter together with a portrait of him, noting that his career had started with a train journey from Lancaster in October 1845, and that Frankland eventually played a pivotal role in the development of the chemistry profession which relied greatly on railway transport and that the railway industry needed chemists to improve lubricants, the raw materials used for locomotives and rolling stock, and in a vast number of other ways.
Furley, Sir John
Born Ashford, Kent, 19 March 1836; died 27 September 1919. Educated at Harrow. Commissioner of British National Aid Society, Franco-German War, 187071; Director of Ambulances Volantes of French Army during War of Commune, 1871; Delegate of British Seed Fund Committee for French peasant Farmers (Lord Vernons Fund), 1871; Director of Ambulances in Spain during Carlist War, 1874; special Commissioner of Mansion-House Fund for relief of sufferers from inundations in valley of Garonne, 1875; Special Commissioner of British National Aid Society to inspect and report on Ambulance arrangements, and to afford necessary assistance to wounded in Montenegro during Russo-Turkish war, 1876; Chief Commissioner Central British Red Cross Committee in S Africa, 1900 (despatches twice); one of original organisers of St John Ambulance Association, 1877; Deputy-Chairman and Director of Ambulance Dept of Order of St John of Jerusalem; member of International Congress of Red Cross Societies Major contributor to design and funding of hospital (or ambulance) trains during WW1 and in Boer War. Who's Who also Locomotive Mag., 1915, 21, 98..
Advertising manager of the Great Northern Raileway when aged 25; became passenger agent for the Piccadilly tube in 1906. Came from Bradford. Horne. London's District Railway. Vol. 2
Grange, Sir Kenneth Henry
Born in London on 17 July 1929. Duke of Edinburgh Award for Elegant Design, Industrial designer who influenced the final shepe of the InterCity 125 power cars, notably the slope at the front and certainly fulfilled Sir Alec Moulton's "if it looks right it is right". Bradley notes that when hired to slect the livery for HST he was so concerned about the shape of the power cars that he arranged for nocturnal tests of revised shapes in the Imperial College wind tunnel: British Railways wisely adopted what emerged
Born in 1890; died 1962. Son of Carl Edward Grasemann,, (born 16 January 1856) Chief Goods Manager, London & North Western Railway from 1909. Educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge. According to an anonymous correspondent in The Times (8 August 1961) he joined the LSWR staff ib 1912. During the First World War he was a member of the Railway Operating Division of the Royal Engineers. A talented artist, he produced a sketchbook filled with colour sketches of officers and members of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (F.A.N.Y). He became Southern Railway's Public Relations and Advertising Officer in 1930 in succession to John Eltiot: prior to this he had been Western Divisional Assistant Operating Superintendent. He had a wide knowledge and appreciation of art and commissioned painters to produce art work for posters. Pehaps the shared standards led to the regular clashing with C.G.G. Dandridge, the LNER Advertising Manager, at meetings of the Railway Clearing House Advertising Representatives. (It's Quicker By Rail!, by Allan Middleton). In 1949 he briefly took up the post of Public Relations & Publicity Officer to the new British Railways (Southern Region) before retiring in 1950. See Ian Allan Driven by steam p. 125: the Southern PRO, a bully and an unreasonable stinker yet he was a chap we all looked up to. He was unquestionably the boss and his staff trembled when he raged and we all moved on to cloud nine where we basked in the sunshine of his smiles even if he just said 'good morning' in the toilet, for most people he totally ignored. I think he did influence me to the extent that when later on I sometimes felt my authority was being undermined I remembered his ability to move into overdrive and crush all opposition and I rather suspect I may do the same myself. Charles Klapper's contacts with Grasemann were very positive (Railway World, 1967, 28, 292.). Outside work his great interest was the sea and in little boats. He was one of the oldest members of the Royal Cruising Club and a committee member of the Royal Yachting Association. He was a livery man of the City of London, both of the Fruiterers and Stationers and Newspaper Makers Companies. Elliot on Grasemann
Klapper, former Editor of Modern Transport. was very appreciative of Grasemann in 30 years of Portsmouth electrics. Railway World, 1967, 28,292.
Stuart Rankin wrote to KPJ when commenting upon Rixon Bucknell: I have a couple of letters, which I found tucked inside a copy of Boat Trains and Channel Packets which throw a little more light on Grasemann.
They are both from Henry Maxwell, about whom Rankin knows nothing, and were addressed to Grasemann at 52 Hurlingham Court, London SW6. The first is dated 8 January 1958, typewritten and from 106 Ashley Gardens , London SW1. The two have obviously been in contact previously.
My dear Grasemann
Do forgive a typewritten note but I am laid up with a chill. I am so glad you liked the picture of the old Victoria on my card, the original is in my office at Millbank, together with the model of the Biarritz and two paintings of cross-channel steamers at Boulogne by our friend in common, Mr. Mears, of whose work i know you have a lovely example - I am still hoping to show them all to you one day.
I am extremely sorry to hear that you are having to leave your flat, and offer you my sincerest condolences ...Rixon Bucknalls address is The Grove, Mayfield, Sussex. He has a marvelous collection there of postcards and paintings, including the really enchanting one of the S.E.. Mail train on the original Dover Admiralty pier, which forms the frontispiece to his book.
The second letter is handwritten on a half sheet of Carlton Club notepaper, dated 12 Feb 1958.
My dear Grasemann
That was a delightful evening and I cannot thank Mrs. Grasemann and your self enough for it. Yours is an Aladdins cave of treasures, each one of which one could examine for an hour and it is wonderful that you should have been able to save so much of rare interest and value which would otherwise have been lost.
It would give me so much pleasure if you would accept Bucknalls book. It is far from being ideal but it does contain a lot of handy information, and one or two interesting pictures.
Again, so very many thanks. I look forward to a reunion at the end of March when your move is completed.
Books: English Channel packet
boats. London: Syren & Shipping, 1939. 205pp.
Round the Southern fleet. London:: Ian Allan, 1946. 54pp
Green, Leslie William
Born in Hampstead in 1875; died in 1908 of tuberculosis. Studied in Paris. Architect of Edwardian London Underground buildings with Art Nouveau features especially in their distinctive ceramic work. Sheila Taylor's The moving Metropolis. Ovenden. London Underground by design.
Hall-Patch, Anthony (Tony)
Born 21 November 1925. Educated at Westminster School and Birmingham University. Served in Royal Engineers and REME 1943-48; then followed career in engineering production including manufacture of diesel engines. Then Curator in charge rail transport collection at Scieence Museum, sat on the adisory committee for the NRM, was largely instrumental in the manufacture and display of the reproduction broad gauge locomotive Iron Duke and played a pivotal role in the recovery to this country of the largest rigid-frame steam locomotive of British manufacture to be displayed in this country the Chinese Government Railways 4-8-4 at the NRM.. Author of Great British railway reviewed very kindly by TJE in Backtrack, 1992, 6, 222. In retrospect it has not faired well: in format it is vaguely similar (deliberately competitive) with Simmons' The railways of Britain (Papermac version) which has aged more comfortably. Nevertheless there are some good things in Hall-Patch (his brief summary of the nature of the terrrain crossed by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway probsably could not be bettered, but there is a vast over emphsis on the significance of London on railway building. A digital version might form the basis for a website as it is tightly written.
Born in Walmer on 21 May 1868; died Kensington on 8 March 1948. Educated at Newton Abbot College and in Heidelberg. Poster artist noted for his Skegness is so bracing. ODNB entry by Bert Thomas revised by Ben Whitworth. Ovenden
Born in Manchester on 31 March 1804; died at Haffield on 7 January 1892. He was educated at William Johns' Unitarian Seminary (with some private tuition from John Dalton) and at Edinburgh University. He graduated MD, unimpressively, and spent short periods in other universities in Britain and Europe. In 1828 he took up an honorary post in the Manchester Infirmary (observing, inter alia, the cholera epidemic of 1832). ODNB entry by Frank Greenaway. Russell. notes that fortune made from manufacturing medicinal magnesia qnd performed water analyses for Liverpool & Manchester Railway
Herbert, T. Martin
Had reported on firebox stays on LNWR 0-8-0 locomotives at Springs Branch in January 1930. (Talbot Eight-coupled). Also fuller data in Cook's Raising steam: see Belpaire boilers. Ran LMS Research Department from its inception until his retirement in 1961.(Cox Locomotive panorama V.2). Wise Railway Research.
Hutchinson, Harold Frederick
Born 1900; died 1975. London Tramsport Publicity Officer 1947-66. Promulgated adoption of pair posters, but tinkered with Beck Underground route map. Ovenden.
Joined Legal Department of British Transport Commission; senior personnel office on Easteern Region before becoming Principal of Derby Staff Training College (see letter from W, Taylor): author of The Law of the railway
Chief chemist at Cowlairs Works, Glasgow, NBR from 1900 to 1922 and into post-Grouping period. Russell. Alan Dunbar worked for him as a lad and paints an interesting picture of him living in Bishopbriggs, wearing a Gladstone collar and being rather fastidious and straight-laced and a (worms eye) view of what was being analysed..
Son of a surveyor with General Post Office: implemented on board mail sorrting on Grand Junction Railway in 1838: see Rly Wld, 1963, 24, 477,-.
Lambert, Albert Edward
Born Manton in 1869; died 5 November 1929. Architect who practiced in Nottingham from at least 1901 until 1926 (Wikipedia 27-08-2012). Buildings: Nottingham Victoria and Midland stations; many Methodist churches. See Robert Emblin. Putting on the style. Backtrack, 2012, 26, 534.
Lloyd, Brigadier Thomas I.
Deputy Engineer in Chief at the War Office. Founder of the Railway Conversion League and promoter of busays including one into the aptly named Waterloo.
Appointed Press and Publications Officer to the London Passenger Transport Board. Locomotive Mag., 1946, 52, 158
Mais, Stuart Petre Brodie
Born in Ladywood, Birmingham on 4 July 1885; died on 21 April 1975 in Compton House Nursing Home, Lindfield, Sussex. 'S. P. B.', as Mais was known, was educated at Heath grammar school, Halifax, and Denstone College, Staffordshire. He worked as a teacher for two years and then attended Christ Church, Oxford, in 1905. He won a blue for cross-country running and graduated with third-class honours in mathematics and English literature in 1909. From 1909 to 1920 he was a schoolmaster, mainly in English, at Rossall School from 1909 to 1913. While teaching, Mais edited Shakespeare for schools and wrote his first novel, April's Lonely Soldier (1916), followed by Interlude (1917), which so closely detailed life at Sherborne that he was forced to resign. From Sherborne he went to Tonbridge School, where he was elected examiner in English by London University. From 1918 to 1931 Mais was successively literary critic on the Evening News (1918) and Daily Express (1921-3), and literary editor of the Daily Graphic (1923-6). From 1926 to 1931 he was leader writer and book reviewer on the Daily Telegraph. This was Mais's last regular employment.
In 1932 the BBC commissioned Mais to travel through Great Britain to describe his experience in seventeen talks. They were published later as This Unknown Island and was reprinted three times. This book, together with the earlier See England First (1927) and England's Pleasance (1935), undoubtedly helped to awaken townspeople to the recreational uses of the English countryside and the need to protect it from the expanding suburbs. In pursuit of this aim Mais worked closely with the railways to produce book-length guides to several counties, footpath guides, and ramblers' booklets. One of his most adventurous ideas was to run night trains from London so that jaded office workers could be shepherded to the top of the south downs by Mais to watch the sunrise. On the first occasion forty walkers were expected; 1440 turned up. There is now quite an extensive literature on this aspect of Mais's writing.
Throughout the 1930s Mais gave radio talks in the United States and Britain. During the Second World War Mais's voice became familiar in most households through his almost daily radio talks entitled Kitchen Front. The war restricted his travelling, but as soon as it ended he found publishers, tourist agencies, and foreign governments eager to fund his holidays abroad in return for the holiday guides which he wrote en route. These were leisurely cruise holidays on which Mais would take his wife, Jill, and two daughters. Books on Norway, Madeira, Austria, Italy, Spain, Majorca, South America, the Caribbean, South Africa, and many others, flowed throughout the fifties and sixties, culminating in the Round the World Cruise Holiday (1965). In Who's Who he gave his recreation as 'travel of any sort anywhere'. Mais also wrote two rambling, evasive, and anecdotal autobiographies: All the Days of my Life (1937) and Buffets and Rewards (1952), several further lightweight novels, and some books of literary appreciation. The latter, such as From Shakespeare to O. Henry (1917), lacked any pretension to academic literary criticism but were likeable and enthusiastic studies. Bernard Smith in ODNB.
Book (listed Jones and Ottley)
Mais, S.P.B. Royal Scot and her forty nine sister engines. London, L.M.S., [19 ]. [vi], 64,  p. + 11 plates (incl. 1 folding). 57 illus., 2 diagrs.
Publicity material with some rather charming notes on the old locomotive names bestowed upon the class.
Articles about Mais's literature for the railway companies.
Grayer, Jeffery. 'SPB' the Southern's publicity bookman. Backtrack, 2009, 23, 29-31.
Earned his living by popularising walks and rambles, some of which he led, These were associated with cheap railway tickets and booklets which are described herein and the covers for which are illustrated in colour: Walking at Week-Ends (1935), Hills of the South (1939), Southern Rambles for Londoners (1948 edition) and Winter Walks in Surrey & Kent (1950). These were published by the Southern Railway and later by the Southern Region. A biography of Mais by Maisie Robson: An unrepentant Englishman: the life of S.P.B. Mais is listed.
Alan Bennett. The Garden Isle. Backtrack, 2012, 26, 276-82.
Southern Railway and Southern Region publicity material. Begins with quotations from S.P.Mais Isles of the Island (1934) which depict a very beautiful landscape on the Isle of Wight. Three covers of Hints for Holidays (1932, 1933 and 1929) are reproduced in colour: the first two encapsulate the Art Deco period with the exploitation of bold, bizarre colours and silhouette images which are highly appropriate for Alum Bay (although the visitor may be disappointed not to find the Grand Canyon depicted in 1933).
Jeffery Grayer. Publicising the 'ACE' [Atlantic Coast Express]. Backtrack, 2012, 26, 388-93.
Instituted by the Southern Railway in the summer of 1926 and coming to an end on 5 September 1964, the multi-portion (multi-train in high summer) Atlantic Coast Express was sometimes served up as the ACE. The Southern Railway published an ACE guide called the Atlantic Coast Express with text by S.P.B. Mais and illustrations by Anna Zinkeisen (Ottley 18901) which described and depicted what could be seen from the carriage window. Text includes long extracts from writings of Mais and Leigh-Bennett (Ernest Pendarves) who was the editor of Over the Points (a Southern Railway magazine for first class season ticket holders and Tales of the trains (a marketing booklet supplied to potential freight customers).
Bennett, Alan. Devon: a bold and beautiful prospect: the Great Western Railway verdict. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 668-71.
Illustrated mainly by publicity material in colour plus extracts from several publications with much purple prose (S.P.B. Mais in Holiday Haunts, 1939 and Glorious Devon, 1928 and A.G. Bradley's Rivers and streams of England, 1909.
Bennett, Alan. The English Riviera: red Devon by the sea. Backtrack, 2010, 24, 745-7.
Great Western Railway promotional material aimed at potential holidaymakers in the Torbay Area, especially Torquay, but Paignton, Goodrington and Brixham also mentioned. Publications included S.P.B. Mais's Glorious Devon and Holiday Haunts..
Hill, Keith. Riviera reflections: 100 years of the 'Cornish Riviera,. Backtrack, 2005, 19, 407-15.
1 July 1904 is given as the inception date: consultation of C.J. Allen's Titled trains of Great Britain verifies this, but shows that the train preceded the name and reflected non-stop running between Paddington and Penzance which had been presaged by King Edward VII's high speed journey to Dartmouth and back (from Plymouth, non-stop) in March 1902. Hill has mined S.P.B. Mais's The Cornish Riviera for its "charming" legends and its "exotic" climate.
Bennett, Alan. Cornwall: half-foreign land. Backtrack, 2005, 19, 697-702.
Exploration of the area through the GWR and Southern Railway holiday literature. Colour illus. art work in 1934 Holiday Haunts entitled Cornish Riviera (internal divider) and showing Land's End; cover for GWR The Glorious West (1933) brochure; cover for S.P.B. Mais Winter in the West (GWR 1929) and cover for third edition (1934) of Mais The Cornish Riviera; Tregenna Castle Hotel advertisement;
Bennett, Alan. The St Ives branch. Backtrack, 2014, 28, 36-44
Mallock, Arnulph Henry Reginald
Born in Cheriton Bishop, Devon on 12 Mar 1851, the son of the Revd. William and Margaret (née Froude) Mallock. His father was Rector of Cheriton Bishop. He was educated at home and then from the age of 11 to 16 at a school in Harlow, Essex. After a further period of private tutoring he went up to St Edmund's College, Oxford. After a few years assisting his uncle, William Froude, a naval architect, to build the first ship test tank he went to work for four months with Lord Rayleigh as an experimental assistant. His interests and projects were extremely broad. The military and railway companies constantly sought his help. Amongst many other commissions he designed equipment to measure earth tremors caused by railways, slight movements in St Paul's cathedral and several bridges: his measurements were crucial to Rayleigh's Vibration Committee (see Hennessey Backtrack, 2013, 27, 394). He was also involved with calculations concerning vibrarion on the Forth Bridge. He was a civilian member of the Ordnance Committee and tackled many problems of ballistics and the design of ordnance. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1903. He died on 26 June 1933: his widow presented the Royal Society with the sextant that had belonged to Brunel.
Information Agent, LNER; then Assistant to the Secretary of the Railway Executive Committee. Nock Britain's railways at war.
Chemist at Brighton Works, LBSCR from 1912 until after the Grouping. Russell.
Chief chemist at Wolverton Works, 1908-1917. Russell..
Mervyn, Hermione (Muriel Hermione Marion)
Born Dublin 6 October 1897: daughter of the Rector of Clontarf, Spent some years in the office of the Director-General of Transport and Coal Controller in Ireland; later transferred to Ministry of Transport in London; and awarded MBE for Government service during WW1. In 1926 became Assistant to Chief Lady Welfare Supervisor at Euston and promoted to top job in 1930 from which she resigned in 1937. Became mistress of Lemon: see Terry Jenkins Sir Ernest Lemon (portrait page 87) who hints that she may have bore him a son.
Born 7 June 1899; died 7 March 1985. Educated at Winchester College and Trinity College, Cambridge, gaining a BA in Mechanical Sciences. In 1918, during WW1, he served in France with the Royal Engineers. In 1927, he learned to fly in an Avro 548 of the Henderson School of Flying at Brooklands aerodrome. In 1928, Muntz co-founded Airwork Ltd with Nigel Norman. In 1929, the company opened Heston Aerodrome that was active in private, commercial and military aviation until its closure in 1947. In the same period, architect Graham Dawbarn joined the pair to form an airport consultancy firm called Norman, Muntz & Dawbarn. In 1932, he co-founded Misr Airwork SAE, with Talaat Har. With Henry Norman he produced a report for the Southern Railway: Aviation development in relation to the business and policy of the Southern Railway. March 1934. See Hennessey. Backtrack, 2016, 30, 175.
Nares, George Strong
Born at Llansenseld near Abergavenny on 24 April 1831; died 15 January 1915. Educated Royal Naval School and joined Royal Navy in 1845. Notable for Challenger expedition where he exploited photography and for attempt to find North West Passage and for Arctic exploration. Member of Special Committee appointed to inquire into certain schemes for the improvement of railway communication on the western coast of Scotland. See Backtrack, 2015, 29, 356.
Norman, Sir Henry Nigel de Valery
Born in London on 21 May 1897; died on 19 May 1943 in a post-crash fire when the Lockheed Hudson IIIA that was to carry him to North Africa forcelanded after take-off from RAF St Mawgan. Educated at Winchester College and Trinity College, Cambridge. Following officer training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, he served as a subaltern with the Royal Garrison Artillery during WW1 seeing action in France.As a civil engineer he specialised in airport design. With Alan Muntz he produced a report for the Southern Railway: Aviation development in relation to the business and policy of the Southern Railway. March 1934. See Hennessey. Backtrack, 2016, 30, 175.
Page, Herbert William.
Born 1845; died 9 September 1926. Professor of Surgery at St Mary's Hospital in London who wrote about railway injuries (Ottley 5030) and was a consultant to the GWR and LNWR. He refuted the work of Erichsen. See Backtrack, 2013, 27, 760. (includes portrait)
Chief chemist at Stratford Works, Great Eastern Railway from 1890-1896. Russell..
Born in Prussia on 5 June 1865. German Consul in Dundee where a shipbroker and eager participant in Inquiry into Tay Bridge Disaster, but not mentioned in Rothery report, but mentioned by Prebble presumably via newspaper reports. Died in Minnesota on 12 March 1956.
Reith, John Charles Walsham
Born on 20 July 1889 at Stonehaven; died on 16 June 1971 in Edinburgh. Famous as general manager and then director-general of the British Broadcasting Company, subsequently Corporation (BBC). In 1896 Reith entered at Glasgow Academy, but when aged 15 was sent to Gresham's School at Holt, in Norfolk. He did well at German and Latin, played at full-back for the school fifteen, and became a good shot, and could run extremely fast. His father, a Free Church of Scotalnd Minister, decreed he was no scholar and that instead of going to university he should be apprenticed to the North British Locomotive Company. The tedium and frustration of the next eight years were relieved only by his military interests. He joined the 1st Lanarkshire rifle volunteers, and in 1911 he was commissioned in the 5th Scottish rifles. Three years into his apprenticeship Reith started his famous diary, which was to absorb a disproportionate an amount of his time and energy over the next sixty years. ODNB entry by Ian McIntyre. Terry Jenkins notes that Ernest Lemon called Reith "an old friend". Mullay (Backtrack, 2017, 31, 537-41) notes that Reith was briefly (5 months) a Minister of Transport during WW2 snd had the audacity to propose nationalisation of the railways via commissioning the Coates Report.
Born on 8 October 1816 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; died at Royal Hotel, Wigan, on 10 July 1867, and was buried in Newcastle general cemetery. He was educated at Percy Street Academy, Newcastle and Glasgow University studying chemistry under Thomas Thomson. He went on to Liebig's laboratory in Giessen, researching the composition of coal and the use of lead chromate in organic analysis, and was awarded a PhD. He then completed his studies in Paris under Pelouze, with whom he published, in 1838, research on the action of water on cyanogen. He returned to Newcastle that year and served as a secretary of the chemistry section of the British Association meeting there. Richardson then turned to industrial chemistry, taking out 63 patents (Russell). In 1840, in partnership with George Currie, he established the Blaydon lead works. In 1844 Richardson introduced to Tyneside the manufacture of superphosphates, with works at Monkton near Hebburn. In 1848 he patented a method for condensing lead-fume by means of steam. His lead refining business was still operating in 1851 and he continued the manufacture of fertilizers until his death. Richardson set up in business as an analytical chemist in September 1843 with a laboratory at his house in Portland Place, where he also offered private practical instruction. His activities broadened to include consultancy, publication, and teaching. With Edmund Ronalds he translated a work by Knapp under the title Technological Chemistry, which was published between 1848 and 1851. A second edition, rewritten by Richardson in collaboration with Ronalds and then Henry Watts, published in 1856, became a standard work. C.D. Watkinson wrote an extensive ODNB entry and Russell records his work on timber preservation for sleepers, etc. and on water analysis which were directly related to railway developemnt, but the ODNB biography makes it clea that the analysis of coal was highly important work.
Ritterbandt, Louis Antoine
Specialized in chemical treatemt of water to prevent scale in boilers. Many patents (some via Woodcroft). According to Russell (extensive details) tested on London & South Western Railway under John Viret Gooch in 1845.
10409/1844 Preventing and removing incrustation in steam-boilers sand steam-generators. 2 December 1844
10672/1845 Application of heat to boilers for generrating steamwhich improvements may be applied to other purposes where heat may be required. 17 May 1845
Rothery, Henry Cadogan
Born in London in 1817; educated at St John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in mathematics in 1840 and MA in 1845. After leaving the university he entered at Doctors' Commons (College of Advocates and Doctors of Law), and from 1842 was employed in the ecclesiastical and Admiralty courts. On account of the large experience he had gathered in the court of Admiralty, in 1876 Rothery was appointed by the government as commissioner to inquire into the causes and circumstances of wrecks, and to conduct investigations into casualties at sea. He made a number of important decisions concerning the prevention of maritime losses through the safe storage of cargo. He reported on the Tay Bridge disaster and his report differed from that by Barlow and Yolland in that he criticised Hutchinson who had performed the initial bridge inspection. He retired in the early summer of 1888, and died at Ribsden, Bagshot, Surrey, on 1 August 1888. ODNB entry by G. C. Boase, rev. Eric Metcalfe which does not mention the Tay Bridge connection for which see Nisbet, Backtrack, 2010, 24, 302.
North Eastern Railway appointed him as a chemist at York in 1876 when he was aged 41. He retired in 1896. He was a university graduate and was probably related to Lowthian Bell, a director of the NER. Russell.
Successor to Routledge: educated at Durham College of Science and worked at Gateshead. Russell.
Began in hotel service of LNWR and became Hotels Manager of Great North of Scotland Railway in 1906. Moved to similar position on North British Railway in 1912 and in 1923 appointed Hotels Superintendent LNER Southern Area. Backtrack, 1996, 10, 144
Salomons, Sir David Lionel Goldsmid-Stern
Born 28 June 1858; died 19 April 1925. Large house near Tumbridge Wells. Associated with City of London Electric Lighting Company. Private workshop. Many patents, mainly on electricity applications, including railway signalling. Member of scientific and engineering societies. ODNB. Director SECR (Dawn Smith)
Saxon Mills, John
Born in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1863; died at Oxhey on 27 November 1929. Educated Manchester Grammar School, Owens College, St. John's College Cambridge and Manchester University. Barister and professional writer (including a history of the Panama Canal). Times obituary noted his retiring disposition, his love of sports and music and classical literature (he had taught in several public schools before becoming a full-time writer. See Backtrack, 2016, 30, 272 for LNER publication Clyde, Trossachs, Western Highlands: some of the elegant prose:
"Established in a comfortable hotel, the visitor, who feels a sense of achievement in having penetrated so far west, may enjoy the bathing, fishing and boating and all the other attractions of a seaside resort. For those who like quietude and exploration, the vast sea shores, with their sands white as those of Muizenberg, and the inland solitudes provide ample scope. The more adventurous may extend their journeys to Loch Nevis, Loch Hourn, Glenelg and Loch Alsh along the seaboard to the north, or to Skye and the other islands off the coast."
Sherrington, Charles Ely Rose
Son of very famous father (medical scientist and Nobel Laureate) who shares same name. Probably an economist and statistician. Author of ODNB entry for Acworth and founder and head of Railway Reaserch Service, British Railways. This was based at the London School of Economics and funded by the four main line companies. It issued a monthly intelligence journal and an annual assessment of the world's railways. Witness to Weir Committee on Railway Electrification. The LMS invited him to be a member of its Steel Rolling Stock Committee. Sherrington had large private document collection accessed by George Ottley page 23 (original volume prelims). Large number of Sherrington publications in Ottley. Terry Jenkins Sir Ernest Lemon contains a considerable amount of information about Sherry. Review of 2 volume study on railway economics: Locomotive Mag., 1928, 34, 336.
Simnett, William Edward
Born City of London, 1880; died 13 August 1958. Author, journalist, lecturer, etc.; first editor, later consulting editor Crown Colonist (now New Commonwealth) Career Assistant Editor and Librarian Institution of Civil Engineers to 1916; served WW1 191418, Royal Engineers; Major, General Staff; attached British Delegation Peace Conference; Director, Ministry of Transport, 191921; Secretary, Railways Amalgamation Tribunal, 192123; founder and Editor Technical Review of the Foreign Press, 191820; projected and first edited Everyman; Member Hendon Council to 1927; Chairman Colonial Empire Union, 193738; in 1940 sent by British Governmentt to USA on a Colonial mission; Pres. London Centre, The National Trust; founder and member of various professional and other societies and committees, contributor to journals and reviews Publications Train Ferries, 1918; Railway Amalgamation in Great Britain, 1923 (reviewed Locomotive Mag., 1923,29, 379)); Books and Reading, 1926 and 1930; (with C. Drury) What Books Shall I Read, (USA) 1932; Life of Dr W. H. Maw, 1927; The British Colonial Empire, 1942; American edition, 1943, revised, 1948; Introducing America and Greater Britain, 1942; Leisure, 1946, 1948; Emergent Commonwealth, 1954; many memoirs and papers before Societies, etc
Smith, [Sir] Francis Petit
Inventor of a screw propeller, was born on 9 February 1808, probably at Copperhurst Farm, about 6 miles from Hythe, Kent. He was educated at a private school in Ashford and began work as a grazing farmer on Romney Marsh, but later moved to Hendon, Middlesex, still as a farmer. As a boy he built many model boats and displayed great ingenuity in developing their propulsion. He continued to devote much time to this subject and by 1835 he had built a model propelled by a screw, driven by a spring, which was so successful that he was convinced that this form of propeller would be superior to the paddle wheel, then universally used by steamships. Over a considerable period Smith was in contact with the Admiralty concerning screw propulsion and this eventually led to the construction of a demonstration vessel the Archimedes which performed well, but the Admiralty refused to recompense Smith. Although screw propulsion may seem far removed from locomotive development it is noteworthy that Smith worked amicably with Ericcson who also contributed to the development of screw propulsion as well as to locomotive development.
The Admiralty's decision not to purchase the Archimedes led to the failure of Smith's company and he was only partially compensated by his share of an ex gratia payment of £20,000 by the Admiralty in 1851, to be shared among all propeller designers. His patent expired in 1856 and he retired to Guernsey as a farmer, but Smith's many friends came to his assistance; he was awarded a civil-list pension of £200 in 1855, and two years later there was a subscription on his behalf as a result of which he received a service of plate and £2678; among the subscribers were Brunel and Lloyd. In 1860 he was offered the post of director of the Patent Office museum (now the Science Museum) and in 1871 he was knighted. He died in South Kensington on 12 February 1874. ODNB entry by David K. Brown who does not mention his great contribution to locomotive preservation which is considered by Dunstone..
Chemist at Horwich Works, L&YR from 1918 until after the Grouping. Russell.
Chemist at Cowlairs Works, Glasgow, NBR from 1894 to 1900. Wise Railway Research. . Russell.
Chemist at St. Rollox Works, Glasgow, from 1882 to 1891. Wise Railway Research. . Russell.
Stock, Victor Arthur
Born 27 April 1895; died 31 December 1926. Educated at Swindon Technical Institute in advanced engineering subjects and chemistry. He served an apprenticeship from 1911 to 1914 in the fitting, turning and erecting shops at the Great Western Railway Locomotive Wotks, Swindon, and afterwards entered the Chemical Laboratory. He became an assistant analyst at Swindon in 1916, and in 1920 was appointed chemist to the Buenos Aires Western Railway. Stock was a member of the Society of Chemical Industry, and was elected an Associate of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers on 24 November, 1921.
Senior London Transport graphic artist. Reposnsible for pre-Beck maps of Underground, and also graphics for Stephenson Locomotive Society. See Fell and Hennessey Backtrack, 2009, 23, 646.
Strutt, Robert (Lord Rayleigh, Third Baron)
Born at Langford Grove, Maldon, Essex, on 12 November 1842. Educated at Eton and Harrow, but suffered from ill-health, In October 1861 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge to begin study which would lead to an amazingly broad scientific career. During the 1880s and up to the mid-1890s Rayleigh published papers on optical and acoustical radiation, electromagnetism, general mechanical theorems, vibrations of elastic media, capillarity, thermodynamics, filtration of waves in periodic structures, interference and scattering of light, the telephone and its technical problems, and on the measurement of the minimum audible intensity of sound. He chaired the Committee on Vibration which examined the problem of trains running on the underground Central London Railway.causing a nuisance to property owners above the tube: see Hennessey Backtrack, 2013, 27, 394. He was of course the originator of the named effect: Rayleigh waves. Rayleigh died at Terling Place on 30 June 1919. ODNB entry by Kostas Gavroglu.
Swan, Ernest William
Born 9 May 1883, died 6 April 1948. Educated Harrow School. Articled pupil Sir W.G. Armstrong-Whitworth & Co., Elswick Works, 1902; Outside Manager, in charge of installation of all Naval gun-mountings and guns, 191028; joined Tyne Division RNVR 1906; Mobilised August 1914, and served in WW1; Commanding Officer, 192939; ADC to King George V, 1933, and to King Edward VIII, 1936; retired from RNVR, 1939; rejoined for service, September 1939; demobilized November 1945. AMINA; FRGS; Member Committee of Management, RNLI Clubs. Honary Curator Municpal Industrial Museum, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Report of paper on need for National Railway Museum in Locomotive Mag., 1947, 53, 133. OBE 1928; VD
Swann, E. (duplicate
Appointed at Crewe Works in 1864, former student of Chester College, as an analytical chemist at a salary of £2 per week. Swann was put to work in a hut in the works; his primary duties were in connection with the Bessemer plant, but he was soon involved in the analysis of other things, particularly oil, coal, coke, paint and non-ferrous metals. Water continued also to be an important problem especially when there were further outbreaks of cholera due to inadequate sewers. After one year Swann was given an assistant because of the volume of work, but in 1867. Railway Research. Hunt LMS Journal (17) 37 .
Templer, James Lethbridge Brooke
Born on 27 May 1846; died at Laughton Grange in Lewes on 2 January 1924. Educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. Whilst serving in the King's Royal Rifle Corps Templer became interested in military ballooning. In 1878 Captains Templer and C.M. Watson with assistance from Captain H. P. Lee started the first regular British Army Balloon School (later the School of Ballooning) at Woolwich. By 1885, Templer had achieved the rank of major. During the British Army's expedition to the Sudan in 1885, Templer took three balloons. He was mentioned in despatches for his actions during the Hasheen engagement. During the Second Boer War, Templer served in the Scientific and Departmental Corps as a lieutenant colonel. He was able to put his interest in steam traction to use. He served as Director of Steam Road Transport during the war. By 1902, Templer had reached the rank of colonel and he decided that it was time to construct a British military airship. Under Templer's direction, work started on the British Army Dirigible No 1. Shortage of money, the lack of an airship shed at the outset and the subsequent relocation of the Balloon Factory from Aldershot to Farnborough delayed the project. Work was not complete until 1907 by which time Templer was no longer the superintendent of the Balloon Factory. In 1904 he was the head of the electricity and balloon departments of the Army Service Corps at Aldershot, and has had great experience in military ballooning. Had personal charge of the wireless telegraphy experiments which were made by the military authorities at Manchester in December 1902. In 1905, while Templer was in command, Balloon Factory relocated to Farnborough. Templer continued as the superintendent of the Balloon Factory until 1906. Mainly Graces Guide but see Supposedly on footplate of Heilmann locomotive: see Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 59 (picture quality poor), but note Willans factory at Thames Ditton..
Painter at Brighton Works who painted the names of the Stroudley and Robert Billinton locomotives and inspired Eric Gill to produce his famous typeface. see O.J. Morris Locomotive Mag., 1942, 48, 122 who quoted Peterborough in The Telegraph of 18 January 1941.
General Manager Midland Railway Hotels and subsequently of LMS. Pearson noted that "Another colourful personality at Euston was Arthur Towle, who was controller of the thirty-three hotels and other catering services of the company. The L.M.S. net capital investment in hotels in the depressed 1930S was of the order of £5 m., on which some £286,000 was earned annually. Towle was a dominating person; he was a fine hotelier, somewhat impatient with those of railway management who were interested in financial results and business methods. He carried on a great family tradition." Later on Pearson notes "Arthur Towle was a strong personality, and some of the L.M.S. directors were not entirely happy at the tight control he exercised. At any rate in 1934 Sir William McLintock was asked if he could supply a suitable qualified man to join the L.M.S. hotels service and to have a wider outlook than accountancy. McLintock asked Hole if he would like to be nominated for the job and the latter agreed. He came to Euston in the same year that I [Pearson] returned there, 1934. In 1945, when cold, unemotional Royden was chairman of the L.M.S., Towle 'relinquished his appointment' (the official words) and Frank Hole was appointed in his place. Years later I asked Hole what his assessment of Towle was and he described him as 'a commanding figure, master of his trade, highly respected in the British and international hotel world, far-sighted, a striking personality and with outstanding mental-capacity, a hard but fair task-master who never wavered in his insistence upon high standards. He epitomized his own dicta that the hotel business was a series of minutia; and that the successful head of it must make it his hobby as well as his career.' This opinion is typical of Frank Hole's generosity. I thought Towle was good, but at times he was an irascible old tyrant. No other railway group had an organisation quite like the hotels and catering department of the L.M.S., and there was no other dominating personality such as Towle.
Turner, T. Henry
Chemist at Inverurie Works, Great North of Scotland Railway from 1914 and continued after Grouping. Russell.
See Locomotive Mag., 1949, 55, 30: Commercial Advertising Officer of London Transport, appointed to the post of Commercial Advertisement Officer in the Department of the Chief Public Relations and Publicity Officer of the British Transport Commission.
"Sam", as he preferred to be known, was born in London on 1 August 1917 and attended the Dulwich Hamlet London County Council School. From there he won a Junior County Scholarship in 1928, which took him to Sloane School for the next five years. On matriculating at the end of this period, he moved to the Crewe Locomotive Works of the LMS as an engineering apprentice where he did the usual round, gathering experience in the various workshops undertaking the building and repair of steam locomotives. Between the years 1933-1938 he also acquired both Ordinary National Certificate and Higher National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, studying at Crewe Technical College and Manchester College of Technology, before taking up an appointment as assistant to the Works Engineer at Crewe for three years and then as Assistant Works Metallurgist, LMS, at Crewe between 1941 and 1944. At the same time he was again studying at night school, this time diversifying into welding and metallurgy and acquiring City and Guilds Certificates.
In 1944 he moved to Ashford as Assistant Head of the Physical Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Research Department, Southern Railway, where he was involved in a wide range of work including developments in non-destructive testing and experimental stress analysis, which both featured to a considerable extent in his later work. The LMS and Southern Railway Research Departments were combined in 1951 at which point Sam became Senior Engineering Assistant, BR Research Department, Ashford, for two years before moving to Derby as Senior Scientific Officer and then Senior Principal Scientific Officer in charge of the Strength of Materials Group up until 1961.
As Assistant Director (Mechanical) of the Engineering Division of British Railways' Research Department from 1961 to 1972 Sam was responsible for a wide range of activities including, at different times, Strength of Materials, Structures, Metallurgy, Non-destructive Testing, Instrumentation, Drawing Office, etc. Between 1972 and 1982 Sam was Materials and Inspection Engineer and later Quality Assurance Manger, British Rail, in the Director of Mechanical and Electrical Engineer's Department where he oversaw the transition from traditional methods of Inspection to Suppliers' Quality Assurance.
After retirement in 1982, he acted as a Senior Mechanical Engineering Consultant on behalf of Transmark. As a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Sam was very active in Railway Division affairs as evidenced by his winning the George Stephenson Prize for papers in 1960, 1970 and 1973. He was a Fellow of the Institution of Non-destructive Testing and a Member of the Institution of Metallurgists. During his retirement Sam continued his involvement with all three institutions and at the same time commenced writing his book on the history of Railway Research in the UK. After his death in November 1992 it was decided that the book as far as he had completed it, was much too valuable as a source document to lose. As a mark of respect to a dedicated Railway Engineer, his work was collated and edited by colleagues and is published in Railway research..
Bennet Woodcroft was born 29 December 1803 at Heaton Norris, near Stockport. Both parents had come from Sheffield, but by 1800 his father John Woodcroft was established as a merchant and manufacturer of silk and muslin. He accumulated a large fortune which was subsequently dissipated by speculation in railway shares. Bennet Woodcroft was apprenticed to a silk weaver at Failsworth, near Manchester, and subsequently studied chemistry under John Dalton. Woodcroft made his first successful patent application in 1827 for inventing a method of printing yarn before weavinga process of great commercial value. He joined his father in partnership about 1828, but had parted company before 1840. Woodcroft's other patents were one of 1838 for improved tappets for loomshis most successful inventionand a series of increasing pitch screw propellers, patented in 1832, 1844, and 1851. He was one of several inventors working to improve propellers, as marine engines came into use in naval vessels, who were persuaded to pool their claims upon the Admiralty; Woodcroft was a witness at the hearings and shared in the £20,000 parliamentary reward.
Whilst in Manchester Woodcroft joined the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, where he developed friendships with the leading engineers of the town, including Joseph Whitworth, James Nasmyth, Richard Roberts, Eaton Hodgkinson, and Richard Fairbairn. About 1843 he set up as a consulting engineer and patent agent, moving in 1846 to London. In April 1847 he was appointed professor of machinery at University College, London, but found teaching uncongenial and resigned in June 1851.
When the Patent Law Amendment Act was passed in 1852 Woodcroft was appointed assistant to the commissioner of patents, responsible for specifications. This position brought him into close contact with Prince Albert, who, following the success of the Great Exhibition of 1851, was encouraging manufacturers to take advantage of the new patent law to improve their designs and products. As a consulting engineer Woodcroft realized that the major obstacle to a modern patent system was the difficulty of seeing earlier specifications and the lack of indexes. In the space of five years he published 14,359 specifications granted between 1617 and 1852, together with indexes, which the commissioners bought from him for £1000. He also prepared classified abridgements and various ancillary technical documents. Copies were presented to more than a hundred free public libraries as well as to many foreign and colonial libraries, and were freely on sale. Thus it is appropriate that Great Yarmouth Library holds a copy of Woodcroft's Alphabetical index of patentees of inventions, 1617-1852. Sadly, the collection of patent literature was lost in a bombing raid during WW2 and reparation from Germany was not sought.
To assist in dealing with the patents, Woodcroft amassed, largely at his own expense, numerous technical books, which he handed over to form the nucleus of the Patent Office Library, opened to the public in 1855 and later incorporated in the British Library. He collected portraits of inventors and, perhaps inspired by collections held in the United States patent office, gathered models of inventions from the Society of Arts and elsewhere. He also rescued from oblivion in Edinburgh the first marine engine, that invented by William Symington. These historic items went in 1857 to the new South Kensington Museum and were later transferred to the Science Museum. Woodcroft was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1859. He retired on 31 March 1876 and died at his home in South Kensington on 7 February 1879, and is buried in Brompton cemetery. Based on ODNB entry by Anita McConnell.
Alphabetical index of patentees of inventions, 1617-1852
Chief chemist at Doncaster, GNR between 1887 and 1898. Russell.
Chief chemist at Doncaster, GNR after 1898 until after the Grouping. Russell.