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British Industrial History

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Angier March Perkins

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Angier March Perkins (1799-1881) was an engineer, born in USA, who worked most of his career in the UK and was instrumental in developing the technology of central heating.

1799 August 21st. Born in Old Newburyport, Massachusetts, the second son of six children of Jacob Perkins and his wife, Hannah, née Greenleaf. His name came from that of his father's brother in-law and close friend Angier March.

Jacob Perkins travelled to the UK in 1819 in order to exploit his bank note printing inventions and Angier March followed in 1821 to join his father in the printing business.

Angier March eventually took charge of his father's business Perkins and Bacon. Having taught others the printing business, around 1828 he launched his own heating and steam engineering enterprise A. M. Perkins and Son.

He married Julia Georgina Brown in 1831 and in the same year filed the first of his patents for heating equipment. His first steam heating system was installed in 1832 in the home of Governor of the Bank of England, John Horley Palmer, so that the owner could grow grapes. He also installed heating systems in commercial premises.

1840 Angier March Perkins of 21 Coram Street, London, Engineer, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]

1844 Patent 'In the Matter of the Letters Patent for England and Scotland, granted to Angier March Perkins, of Harper-street, in the county of Middlesex, Civil Engineer, for certain Improvements in the Apparatus, or Method of heating the Air in Buildings, heating and evaporating Fluids, and heating Metals; the English patent dated 30th July 1831, and the Scotch patent dated 2d November 1832.'[2]

Angier March's business prospered and he moved to larger premises, sharing an office with his father who, though still inventive, enjoyed less commercial success.

He ultimately became involved in improved methods for smelting iron and designs for piping and plumbing fittings.

His high-pressure steam technology proved to have other uses, including a mobile baker's oven for the British Army. For many years he pressed the case with the British Army for his father's concept of the steam gun but without success.

Angier March had two sons:

1881 April 22nd. Died at his family home in Hampstead and was buried in the family vault in Kensal Green Cemetery. He was age 81.


1882 Obituary [3]

. . . second son of Jacob Perkins . . . He came to England in 1827, and was for some time associated with his father in perfecting and bringing to maturity several of the many inventions then in hand . . .



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1840 Institution of Civil Engineers
  2. The London Gazette Publication date:6 December 1844 Issue:20421 Page:5088
  3. 1882 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • Angier Perkins biography [2]
  • Camden History Review [3]