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George Harrison

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George Harrison (1815-1875)

Brother-in-law of Thomas Brassey

1856 of Canada Works, Birkenhead


1876 Obituary [1]

MR. GEORGE HARRISON, Son of the late Joseph Harrison, of Birkenhead, was born in Liverpool on the 4th of June, 1815.

He served his apprenticeship as an engineer with Messrs. Mather, Dixon, and Co., of Liverpool, and Messrs. Jones, of Newton-le-Willows, on the completion of which he went to France, and became the Locomotive Superintendent, at Paris, of the Paris and Rouen Railway, on its opening in 1843; he remained there until his appointment as Locomotive and Carriage Superintendent of the Orleans and Bordeaux Railway, which appointment he held until the revolution of 1848 compelled him to return to England.

He afterwards became Locomotive Superintendent of the Scottish Central Railway and of other lines in Scotland associated with it.

In 1853 he was consulted by Messrs. Peto, Brassey, and Betts in reference to the construction of the locomotives for the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. He therefore visited Canada, and, upon his report, it was decided to establish works in England, in preference to Canada, for the purpose of constructing the locomotives and wrought-iron bridges; whereupon the Canada Works were founded at Birkenhead, with which he remained connected up to the time of his death. The great bridge over the river St. Lawrence at Montreal was made at these works, and since the completion of the Grand Trunk railway, works of a gigantic character have been successfully carried out, under his supervision, for railways in Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, America, India, Australia, and other parts of the world.

Mr. Harrison was, for a time, Manager of the Millwall Ironworks, London, and of the Humber Ironworks, at Hull.

About the year 1856 he became a Commissioner for Birkenhead, and was the first to propose the introduction of the large saloon steamer at Woodside ferry, on the river Mersey; he never ceased agitating the question at the meetings of the Board until the present splendid class of steamers was placed on the station. The new portion of the great landing stage at Liverpool was constructed at the Canada Works. When on the eve of completion this stage was destroyed by fire; the anxiety consequent upon this unfortunate accident preyed much upon his mind, he having a great desire to see the reconstruction carried out; however, his health failed before the work was accomplished.

Mr. George Harrison was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 18th of May, 1852; and he was also a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He died in London on the 2nd of June, 1575.


1876 Obituary [2]

GEORGE HARRISON was born in Liverpool on 4th June 1815.

After serving his apprenticeship as an engineer with Messrs. Mather Dixon and Co. of Liverpool, and Messrs. Jones of Newton-le-Willows, he went to France, and became Locomotive Superintendent at Paris of the Paris and Rouen Railway on its opening in 1843, and remained there until appointed Locomotive and Carriage Superintendent of the Orleans and Bordeaux Railway; this appointment he held until the revolution of 1848, which compelled him to return to England.

He afterwards became Locomotive Superintendent of the Scottish Central Railway, and other lines associated with it, which appointment he held until the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada in 1853.

He was then consulted by Messrs. Peto Brassey and Betts, in reference to the construction of the locomotives for this railway, and thereupon visited Canada; and on his report it was decided to establish works in England in preference to Canada, for the construction of the locomotives and the wrought-iron bridges. The Canada Works at Birkenhead were accordingly established, with which he remained connected up to the time of his death. Here the great bridge over the river St. Lawrence was made; and since the completion of the Grand Trunk Railway, the works have been successfully carried on under his supervision, having executed railway work of a gigantic character for lines in this and many other countries.

Mr. Harrison was also for a time manager of the Millwall Iron Works, London, and of the Humber Iron Works, Hull.

Twenty years ago he became a Commissioner for Birkenhead, and was the first to propose the introduction of the large saloon steamers at Woodside Ferry on the river Mersey; he never ceased agitating the question at the meetings of the Board, until the present splendid class of ferry steamers were placed on the station. The new portion of the great landing stage at Liverpool was constructed at the Canada Works, but on the eve of its completion was destroyed by fire; the anxiety consequent upon this unfortunate accident preyed much upon Mr. Harrison's mind, and he had a great desire to see the re-construction completed.

His health however failed before the work was accomplished, and he died in London on 1st June 1875, in the 60th year of his age.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1856, and was for many years a member of the Council.



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