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Charles Edward Austin (1819-1893)
1893 Obituary 
CHARLES EDWARD AUSTIN, eldest son of the late Mr. Anthony Austin, of Wootten-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, was born there on the 22nd of June, 1819, and was educated at Bruce Castle School, near London, and also under Dr. Fennell at Brighton.
In 1837 he became a pupil of George E. Frere, F.R.S., chief assistant to Mr. I. K. Brunel on the Great Western Railway, and on the expiration of his articles remained as an assistant to J. G. Thomson, the resident engineer on the Middle Hill Tunnel and contracts immediately west of Box. In this district an extensive landslip in the Ashley Hill cutting had to be dealt with, an account of which was given in a Paper by Mr. Thomson. Mr. Austin held this position until the completion and opening throughout of the Great Western Railway from Paddington to Bristol in 1841. He then occupied himself with a scheme for improvements in switches and apparatus for changing the lines on railways, to be worked automatically, for which he prepared models and took out a patent in December, 1841.
Subsequently he took up his residence in St. Petersburgh and spent much time in travelling over various parts of the country.
He devoted attention to the navigation of the River Volga and to projects for its improvement by steam, and published a treatise containing valuable information as to the then state of the river traffic and its management. He extended his travels and explorations on two occasions over a wide tract of Siberia. On the first tour he crossed the Altai mountains to the frontier of China and during a subsequent tour, on which he was accompanied by his wife, he visited some of the exile stations of Siberia, the mines of Nertchinsk, and the Sayamen mountains to the Chinese frontier, and resided for some time at Irkoutsk. In 1862 he presented to the Geological Society, of which he was a Fellow, some notes of these explorations.
In 1854 Mr. Austin was appointed to survey and lay out the Dom Pedro Segundo Railway from Rio de Janeiro to the foot of the Sierra Sta. Anna, a distance of 40 miles.....[more]