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British Industrial History

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George Smith Duncan

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George Smith Duncan (1853-1930)

1930 Obituary[1]

"The Late Mr. G. S. Duncan.— We regret to note the death on September 4 last, at Black Rock, Victoria, Australia, of Mr. George Smith Duncan, formerly chief engineer of the Melbourne Tramways Trust, and consulting engineer to the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Co. A son of the late Mr. George Duncan, of Dunedin, New Zealand, Mr. George Smith Duncan was born in 1853, and received his general education in Scotland and at Clifton College, Bristol. Upon returning to New Zealand, he entered upon a pupilage of five years under Messrs. Thompson and Simpson, of Otago, and was subsequently appointed Provincial Engineer at Otago. In 1876, Mr. Duncan opened a private practice, and, among other works, carried out the laying of the Roslyn and Mornington cable tramway in 1883. Mr. Duncan is credited with having solved the problem of carrying the haulage cables round curves. A cable tramway for Melbourne having been decided upon, he was appointed chief engineer, and carried out the undertaking to a successful conclusion. He continued to act as chief engineer of the Melbourne Tramways Trust for some years, but eventually returned to private practice, devoting himself mainly to mining engineering. Latterly he had given great attention to the problem of extracting gold from sea water. Mr. Duncan was elected to full membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers on December 6, 1887,"

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