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British Industrial History

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Charles Henry Akroyd-Stuart

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Charles Henry Ackroyd-Stuart (c1873-1940)

1874 March 5th. Born the son of Charles Stuart

1881 Living at New Street, Fenny Stratford: Charles Stuart (age 45 born Halifax), Mechanical Engineer and Ironfounder employing 12 men and 1 boy. With his wife Ann Stuart (age 44 born Halifax) and their four children; Agnes Stuart (age 20 born Halifax); Herbert Ackroyd Stuart (age 17 born Halifax), Engineers Apprentice; Charles Henry Stuart (age 7 born Halifax); and Annie Stuart (age 4 born Halifax). [1]

1891 Living at Denmark Street, Fenny Stratford: Anne Stewart (age 54 born Waxley?, Yks), Living on own means - Married. With her four children; Agnes Stewart (age 33 born Halifax); Herbert Akroyd Stewart (age 27 born Halifax), Civil Engineer; Florence Stewart (age 25 born Halifax); Chas H. Stewart (age 17 born Halifax), Civil Engineer Pupil. Also her grandson Cecil S. Cannon (age 8 months born Bicester.[2]

1909 IMechE Proposal. 'Education: (Schoolastic): Private Tutor and Reading Grammar School. (Technical): Private Study and experimenting with my brother under exceptionally favourable circumstances. Apprenticeship: Served five years in my brothers works at Bletchley from 1888 to 1892 during which time we were experimenting on internal combustion engines, the outcome of which was the Akroyd Oil Engine, now as well known as "The Hornsby-Akroyd" made by R. Hornsby & Sons of Grantham under royalty. From 92 to 97 I had charge of the Bletchley Iron Wks. In 1897 I left England to take up the position of assistant Manager to the firm of J. Barre Johnson & Co, Mining Engineers of Fremantle, W. Aust. Occupied this until 1901 when I wasappointed Manager. Resigned this in 1902 and became a partner in the firm of Saunders & Stuart Engineers, Fremantle, Perth and Kalgoolie, Western Australia. Am experimenting at the present time on the treatment of Sulphide Ores of W. Aust. Still being a partner in the above firm.[3]


1940 Obituary [4]

Mr. Charles Henry Akroyd Stuart, for many years a well known engineer in this State, and founder of the firm of Saunders and Stuart Pty. Ltd., died in England last week.

He was born in Yorkshire 67 years ago and, coming to Western Australia as a young man, spent some time on the goldfields before establishing the firm in Perth.

Mr. Akroyd-Stuart introduced to this State the structural steel type of building and, with his brother, the late Mr. Herbert Akroyd-Stuart, was prominent in the development of the Diesel. He was also one of the first to develop producer gas as a practical fuel.

He retired in 1923 and went to live in England. He last visited Perth two years ago.

One of his two sons, Mr. Charles Akroyd-Stuart, lives in Perth.


1941 Obituary [5]

CHARLES HENRY AKROYD-STUART was one of the pioneers in the early days of the internal combustion engine.

He served his apprenticeship from 1888 to 1892 in his famous brother's works at Bletchley, and during that period they carried out extensive experiments on various types of oil engines, the outcome of which was the Akroyd oil-engine, now known as the Hornsby-Akroyd.

He took charge of the Bletchley Iron Works in 1892 and held that position until 1897, when he left England to become assistant manager, and later manager to Messrs. J. Barre Johnston and Company, mining engineers, of Fremantle, Western Australia. He resigned this appointment in 1902 and became a partner in the firm of Saunders and Stuart. Subsequently he was responsible for introducing the "Coolgardie" condensing plant which was stated to have been instrumental in preventing a water famine on the Western Australian Railways. He also equipped several gold and tin mines with crushing plants for sulphides and oxidized ores.

He invented a number of devices in connection with internal combustion engines including the Akroyd downdraught gas producer, examples of which were installed in Australia, New Zealand, and China.

Mr. Akroyd-Stuart returned to England in 1937, after an absence of forty years. Up to within a short time of his death, which occurred on 29th November 1940, in his sixty-seventh year, he was working on a scheme for ventilating and sterilizing air-raid shelters.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1909.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. 1891 Census
  3. IMechE Records
  4. The Daily News (Perth, WA) Sat 7 Dec 1940
  5. 1941 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries