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Hamilton Smith

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Hamilton Smith (1840-1900)


1900 Obituary [1]

HAMILTON SMITH, who died suddenly of heart disease at his residence in Durham, New Hampshire, U.S.A., on the 4th July, 1900, was born at Louisville, Kentucky, on the 5th July, 1840.

In order to gain a knowledge of engineering he was employed at an early age - from 1854 to 1859 - under his father, who was at that time the technical manager of the Cannelton Coal Mines in Indiana, on the Ohio River. He gave immediate evidence of ability, and rose rapidly to be chief of the engineering and accountant’s departments.

From 1859 to 1867 he was engaged in Indiana and Kentucky in developing important collieries and in superintending the construction of the necessary railroads and machinery.

In 1869 he was appointed Engineer and Manager of the North Bloomfield Gravel and Milton Mines in Nevada County, California, where he designed and carried out large and important works, and became the recognised authority on all matters relating to hydraulic mining in California. The outcome of this and similar experience was an able and well-known work on "Hydraulics."

Mr. Hamilton Smith was also engaged in connection with various other mines on the Pacific Coast, did much to bring about the cheap manufacture of high explosives on that coast, and took all active part in the establishment of the Vulcan Powder Works.

In 1881 he reported on the El Callao Mine in Venezuela for Messrs. Rothschild, and as Consulting Engineer he subsequently designed and superintended the construction of the machinery and appliances for that mine.

In 1885 Mr. Hamilton Smith established himself as a mining engineer in London in partnership with Mr. de Crano, with whom he founded in the following year the Exploration Company. As Manager of that Company he was actively interested in gold mining in South Africa, and took part in the formation of the Consolidated Deep Levels, the Transvaal and General Association, and other enterprises. The results of his investigations on the Rand and those of Mr. H. C. Perkins led to the formation of deep level mining companies, the working of which he described at some length in an article in the Times of the 17th January, 1893.

He was also connected with the Alaska Treadwell Gold Mining Company and the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. After the death of Mr. de Crano in 1895 Mr. Hamilton Smith entered into partnership with Mr. H. C. Perkins, the firm having their heed office in New York. At the time of his death he was engaged in the development of the Mariposa grant in California.

In 1890 Mr. Hamilton Smith associated himself with Sir Benjamin Baker and Mr. John G. Meiggs in the promotion of the Central London Railway, and continued to take great interest in the work, both from an engineering and financial point of view, until his death. The success of the undertaking was largely due to his untiring efforts in interesting powerful American and other financial institutions in the promotion of the line.

Some indication has been given here of Mr. Hamilton Smith’s ability as an engineer. His success was due to untiring energy, firmness of will, and great self-confidence. But while seeking to shape his own career, he was ever ready to help others and to give credit to those with whom he worked.

He was a Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and of the American Institute of Mining Engineers.

Mr. Hamilton Smith was elected a Member of this Institution on the 7th February, 1888.


1900 Obituary [2]

"...distinguished mining engineer, who died suddenly of heart disease at his home in Durham, New Hampshire, on July 4th. Mr. Smith was born, at Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A., in 1840, and, having recieved a good home education under his father's superintendence, he obtained at a comparatively early age a position in the engineering and accountant's department of the Cannelton Coal Mines. He gave immediate evidence of ability, and rose rapidly to be chief of the combined departments.

In 1870 he left Cannelton for the Pacific Coast. The North Bloomfield Gravel and Milton mines in Nevada gave him a well-used opportunity to distinguish himself in connection with hydraulic gold mining, and he became the recognised authority on all matters relative to hydraulic mining in California. The result of this and other experiences was embodied..."[More].



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