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Gustave Ernest Polonceau

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Gustave Ernest Polonceau (1832-1900)

1900 Obituary [1]

GUSTAVE ERNEST POLONCEAU, who died early in 1900, was born on March 3, 1832. On leaving the Paris School of Mines in 1854, he served his time in the workshops of the Orleans Railway Company, of which his relative, Camille Polonceau, was then chief engineer. He soon became inspector, and subsequently assistant locomotive superintendent on the second section of the line. In 1870 he was appointed chief inspector of the Imperial Turkish Railway, and in 1871 received the star of Officer of the Medjidid.

In February 1872 he was appointed chief engineer on the Austrian State Railway. Sent on an official mission to Roumania, he was appointed on April 1 director of the Roumanian Railways, and a large amount of railway construction was carried out under his direction. He then returned to Vienna, and in 1877 received the Cross of the Iron Crown in recognition of his labours in organising the service of transport of wounded. In the same year he was appointed a Knight of the Legion of Honour, and in 1895 was promoted to be Officer of that Order. He remained in Austria until December 1885, when he returned to the Orleans Company as chief engineer. He introduced a number of important improvements and numerous valuable inventions of his own.

He was president of the Society of Civil Engineers of France in 1891, and took part in a number of technical commissions, notably the Commission on Methods of Testing of the Metallurgical Section, of which he was vice-president.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1890, having previously, as vice-president of the Society of Civil Engineers of France, taken an active part in organising the Paris meeting of the Institute in 1889.

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