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British Industrial History

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Ernest Spon

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Ernest Spon (1849-1890)


1891 Obituary [1]

ERNEST SPON was born on the 1st of August, 1849.

He was regularly educated as a Civil Engineer for upwards of three years, from 1869 to 1872, in the office of the late Oliver Byrne, and subsequently spent eighteen months at the works of Thomas Don, millwright, of Reigate.

He then entered into partnership with G. G. Andre, as Consulting Mechanical Engineer, being also largely employed in sinking wells.

In 1879 he commenced practising on his own account; and in 1881 received the appointment of Engineer to the Explosives Co, for whom he designed and superintended the construction of new works at Pembrey, near Cardiff.

The works of the Smokeless Powder Co, at Barwick, of which he was the manager, were designed by him. He was also Engineer to the Pembrey Old Harbour Board. . . .

. . . . Mr. Spon was in many respects a remarkable man; he was deeply read, a good linguist, and a brilliant conversationalist. As an expert in explosives he occupied a high position. As an author he is best known by his popular and valuable book "Workshop Receipts". He also wrote the "Modern System of Well Sinking", partly edited "The Dictionary of Engineering", was editor of several colonial engineering papers, and contributed largely to the scientific journals. He was a great lover of natural history, and delighted in music and literature.

For over twenty years he had been connected with the volunteers, and held the post of Lieutenant of the 1st City of London Artillery Volunteers. His father belonged to an old French family, and his uncles, Messrs. E. and F. N. Spon, are the well-known publishers. For many years the deceased had been a Freemason.


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