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British Industrial History

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Christopher John Wallace Jakeman

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Christopher John Wallace Jakeman (1843-1928) of Merryweather and Sons

Born the son of William Jakeman

1871 Married at Pancras to Eliza Pugh

1911 Living at 10 Lewisham Hill, London SE: Christopher J. W. Jakeman (age 68 born London), Engineer, Director, Fire Engine Works. With his wife Eliza and their three children.[1]

1928 Obituary [2]

CHRISTOPHER JOHN WALLACE JAKEMAN Was apprenticed in 1858 at the Wolverton works of the London and North Western Railway, under Mr. McConnel.

In 1865 he joined Messrs. Merryweather and Sons and for five years was chiefly occupied in the delivery of steam fire-engines (then a novelty) to towns in England and on the Continent.

In 1870 he became assistant to the late Mr. W. Naylor and took part in the experiments on an automatic mechanical train brake on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway.

In 1872 he returned to Messrs. Merryweather as a designer and remained with the firm till the end of his career, eventually becoming managing director and consulting director until his retirement in 1912.

As designer and manager he was responsible for the condensing steam tramway locomotive constructed by the firm, of which a large number were at one time in use, especially abroad. He spoke at the Paris Meeting on this subject in 1878. At the Greenwich works he produced the high-speed steam fire pumps which followed the original slow-speed Merryweather engine, and for these he designed the light-weight quick-steaming Merryweather and Jakeman water-tube boiler.

At a later date the self-propelling steam fire-engine was introduced and before his retirement the first of the petrol-driven fire-engines now in use was produced. He was at all times keenly interested in science and constructed, from a very early description, a telephone between his house and a summer-house in his garden.

At the age of 80 he commenced a study of wireless telephony.

Mr. Jakeman died on 3rd January 1928, in his eighty-fifth year; he had been a Member of the Institution since 1878.

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