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British Industrial History

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Charles Frederick Gurden

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Charles Frederick Gurden (1843-1874)

1866 Charles Frederick Gurden, Superintendent Engineer, Brazil and River Plate Steam Boat Co, 43 Canning Street, Birkenhead.[1]

1875 Obituary [2]

Charles Frederick Gurden was born in Liverpool on 13th February 1843; and after being educated at St. Omer in France and also at the Liverpool College, he passed through the works and drawing office of Messrs. Forrester and Co., Vauxhall Foundry, Liverpool.

When his apprenticeship was finished, he was engaged as engineer assistant to Alfred Holt, who was then constructing the first one of the single-crank compound marine engines known as the Holt engines.

In 1864 he was appointed Superintending Engineer for the steam fleet of Messrs. Lamport and Holt of Liverpool, and in that capacity his whole mind was given to introduce improvements in one steamer after another, in the development of the single-crank engine, which in these Brazilian steamers has now successfully superseded the double-crank engine. In these steamers he had special facilities for testing practically the relative economy and best proportions of the details of construction in compound engines, and had made considerable progress in those subjects.

In 1871, his health failing, he had to abandon engineering and to spend the winter at Pau, intending when stronger to make a business of designing marine engines for special economy, having received much encouragement from owners and builders.

On his return to England however an affection of the eyes prevented him from using them professionally; and after a partial recovery his health again became weaker, and he died in Liverpool on 22nd September 1874 in the 32nd year of his age.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1866.

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