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British Industrial History

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David Aher

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David Aher (1780-c1842)

1836 David Aher of Castlecomen and Dublin, a Civil Engineer, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]


1844 Obituary [2]

Mr. David Aher, M.Inst.C. E., was born in the year 1780; he attained very early a proficiency in physical science, and at fifteen years of age commenced his studies as a civil engineer.

In 1803, he surveyed and superintended several of the works of the Grand Canal Company (Ireland), and subsequently directed the collieries in the County Kilkenny and Queen’s County, an occupation for which he was well suited, from his knowledge of geology, a science at that time but little cultivated in Ireland.

By his judicious direction of borings and other trials, discoveries mere made which have proved very valuable to the neighbouring coal proprietors. His inventions and improvements in mining and boring machinery (which have been generally adopted), are remarkable for the mechanical ingenuity displayed in them, for the simplicity of their construction, and for their practical utility.

In the years 1810, 1811, and 1812, he was engaged in making experiments and reports for the Commissioners appointed by Government, to inquire into the nature and extent of the 'Bogs in Ireland, and their capability of being made available for cultivation, or other purposes.'

While engaged in the direction of the collieries, he laid out nearly all the new lines of road which have been made through the County Kilkenny and neighbourhood, and also the Great Leinster and Munster Railway, from Dublin to Cork, by Kilkenny, Clonmel, Cahir, etc.

In 1840 he met with some disappointments and losses, which weighed heavily on his mind, and were the principal cause of the illness which terminated his life.

He died in the 62nd year of his age, respected for his high professional attainments and strict integrity of character, and regretted by all who knew him.


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