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British Industrial History

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David Phillips

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David Phillips (1831-1894)

of 23 Montpelier Square[1].


1894 Obituary [2]

DAVID PHILLIPS was born on the 19th of January, 1831, at Aberarth, Cardiganshire, where his father was engaged for many years in the timber trade and in shipbuilding.

After such education as could be obtained at that time in a country school, he entered a solicitor’s office, to the routine of which, however, he soon took a dislike.

In 1845 he migrated with his family to Glamorganshire. Between Cwm Avon and Port Talbot in that county were running two locomotives of rather antique type, and so great was the interest they excited in young Phillips that he determined to become an engineer.

After some months’ trial he was articled early in 1846 to the late Mr. T. R. Guppy, who was then manager of the Cwm Avon Works of the Governor and Company of Copper Miners in England and Ireland. On entering the fifth year of pupilage he had made such progress as to induce Mr. Guppy to place him in charge of the turning- and fitting-shops.

From Cwm Avon Mr. Phillips went to Cardiff, where he was employed for fourteen months in the Locomotive Works of the Taff Vale Railway Company.

He then spent a similar period in the shops of the Great Western Railway Company at Swindon.

On leaving Swindon he was engaged for nearly three years in the steam-factory at Portsmouth Dockyard. Seeing but little prospect of advancement there he applied for an appointment in the service of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co, which he obtained on condition that he should proceed to India.....[more]


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