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British Industrial History

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Charles Louis Aime de Bergue

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1859. Punching and shearing machine.

Charles de Bergue (1807-1873)

of Charles De Bergue and Co.

1834 New patents: 'Charles de Bergue, of Clapham, in the county of Surrey, engineer, for certain improvements in machinery for spinning or twisting cotton, flax, silk. and other fibrous materials. Sealed November 15, 1834 (six months.)'[1]

1857 of Strangeways Iron Works, Manchester.[2] - De Bergue and Co

1857 Patent by Charles Tilston Bright, of Harrow, Engineer, and Charles De Bergue, of Dowgate-hill, London, Engineer, in respect of the invention of "improvements in apparatus to be employed in the laying or sinking of submarine telegraph cables.[3]



1874 Obituary [4]

He returned to settle in England in 1834, taking the contract for the gates of the Seraglio at Constantinople.

In 1850 he built engineering works at Manchester, and engaged to construct the railway from Barcelona to Tarragona, for which he invented a new iron permanent way, that was afterwards laid down on several other lines in Spain, and was found to make a great reduction in the cost of maintenance, especially in hot climates. He also invented a useful carriage for laying the same with perfect exactitude.

In 1861 he built works at Cardiff, entering extensively into bridge-building.

In 1871 he took the contract for the erection of the Tay Bridge, on the plans of the Engineer of the North British Railway. After completing the calculations for that work, which greatly fatigued his brain, he was seized with congestion, softening of the brain supervening, which ended his life on the 10th of April, 1873, having lost the power of speech for above twelve months.

He was the inventor of many valuable tools, now in use, for shearing, punching, riveting, rail-levelling, and rivet-making. He was also the inventor of a new system of tramway, which has been laid down in Java, Syria, and other places; likewise of a new construction of lattice bridge, uniting lightness with great strength, upon which system the new Wandsworth Bridge has been built....(more)


1874 Obituary [5]

CHARLES DE BERGUE was born at Kensington in 1807 of French parentage, and from his earliest years evinced a remarkable talent for mechanics.

When quite a boy he invented machinery of an ingenious description for making the reeds of weaving looms, and worked it to great profit.

On the restoration of the Bourbons he accompanied his family to Paris; and his father having, in connection with several French noblemen, opened an engineering establishment there, he was able to exercise freely his taste for mechanical engineering.

In 1836 he returned to settle in England, and was the inventor of several valuable machine-tools now in use at many large works both in England and abroad.

He was the proprietor of engineering works both at Manchester and Cardiff, where lie carried on an extensive business in the manufacture of bridges and of the machines used in their construction; his designs for bridges specially aimed at uniting strength with lightness of construction.

He invented a new system of iron permanent way, which has been successfully in use for many years in Spain and elsewhere; also railway buffers, a moulding table, punching, shearing, and riveting machines, with other useful engineers' tools, including a machine for making rivets, of which a description was given at the Institution (see Proceedings Inst. M. E. 1861 page 212).

His death occurred on 10th April 1873 at the age of sixty-five, from softening of the brain, after a painful and protracted illness of more than two years.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1857.


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