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Henry Chapman

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Henry Chapman (1835-1908) of London

1866 Henry Chapman, 41 Boulevard Malesherbes, Paris.[1]


1908 Obituary [2]

HENRY CHAPMAN died suddenly on October 18, 1908. He was born at. Dieppe in 1835, being the second son of George Chapman, who was for nearly half a century British Consul at Dieppe.

After leaving school he served under articles for five years, between 1852 and 1857, with Sharp, Stewart di Co., then of Manchester.

He was subsequently employed by the firm to represent them on the Continent, but in 1858 he set up business as a consulting engineer in Paris, continuing to represent his old firm and many others. He was engaged by many French railway companies in providing designs and specifications for rolling-stock, for fixed mechanical plant, and in one or two cases even for bridges. Among the more notable works he supervised, in addition to locomotives and railway rolling-stock, was the application of machine tools actuated by hydraulic power. He was also associated with Brotherhood's torpedo machinery and air-compressors. He also introduced on the Continent Merryweather's steam fire-engines, Seller's steam-hammer, Fox's corrugated flues, and Paget's hosiery machinery. To this country he introduced the Giffard injector.

The deceased gentleman was one of the pioneers of the principle of distributing high-pressure water, being a promoter and director of the Hull Hydraulic Power Company, of which he was from the beginning a director, and for many years and up to the time of his death, chairman. Another concern in which he took an active part, to the advantage of the profession, was the Employers' Liability Assurance Company, Limited, which was organised when Parliament first made employers responsible for accidents.

Prior to the siege of Paris he had established an office in London, from which he conducted his continental business during the period of unrest. After the war he continued his Paris office as his principal establishment. He read a paper at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1881 on "The Farquhar Filtering Apparatus," and became a member of that Institution in 1866, and for many years sat on the council, being elected a Vice-President in 1907. He was also a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Naval Architects, and the Societe des Ingenieurs Civils de France. In 1878 he was decorated by the French Government as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and was afterwards promoted to the rank of Officer. He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1872. During the Paris meetings of 1878 and 1889 he served as local honorary secretary, and in 1900 he again assisted on the Local Reception Committee, and rendered valuable services.


1909 Obituary [3]

HENRY CHAPMAN, born at Dieppe on the 14th March, 1835, was the second son of the late Mr. George Chapman, who for nearly 50 years was British Consul at Dieppe. He was thus qualified as well by birth and parentage as by engineering skill and judgment and high integrity to fill the prominent position which he attained in international engineering circles, and to exercise, as he did, a powerful influence on the development of British engineering intercourse with the Continent.

After being educated at a private school at Lewes, he served an apprenticeship of 5 years to Messrs. Sharp, Stewart and Company, on the expiration of which, in 1857, he was selected to represent the firm in Paris. In this position he rendered useful service in connection with the company’s extensive business with French, Spanish, and Dutch railways.

Subsequently he established an independent consulting practice in Paris, and whilst continuing to represent his old firm, he added from time to time the representation of other firms of mechanical and general engineers, and was at the same time employed in a consulting capacity by many Continental railway companies.

With the development of engineering on the Continent arose a general demand for mechanical appliances of all kinds, and in the satisfaction of this demand Mr. Chapman was enabled to assist materially in the development of British trade with the Continent. In this way he was largely instrumental in introducing the Tweddell system of the application of hydraulic power to machine-tools, of which a notable installation was designed by him for Toulon Dockyard, Merryweather’s steam fire-engines, Peter Brotherhood‘s three-cylinder engines, air-compressors and reservoirs for torpedoes, Sterne’s emery machinery and refrigerating plant, Sellers’s steamhammer, Fox’s corrugated flues, and Paget’s hosiery machinery.

To this country Mr. Chapman introduced, amongst other patents, the Giffard injector. He was one of the promoters and a director of the Hull Hydraulic Power Company, as well as of the London and Liverpool companies, and he was also chairman of the Hydraulic Engineering Company of Chester. He also took an active part in the direction of the Employers’ Liability Assurance Company, Limited, in later years serving as vice-chairman.

Mr. Chapman was a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Naval Architects, and the Iron and Steel Institute: of the first-named body, he was for some years a member of council, and latterly a vice-president. At various international gatherings of engineers he rendered valuable service, which was recognized on several occasions by presentations of plate. More noteworthy, however, were the honours conferred upon him by the French Government, in making him Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1878, and subsequently promoting him to the rank of Officier, and by the Societe des Ingenieurs civils de France in electing him a life member of the society.

He died on the 18th October, 1908, in his seventy-fourth year.

Mr. Chapman was elected an Associate of The Institution on the 6th February, 1872, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 14th January, 1879.


1908 Obituary [4]

HENRY CHAPMAN was born at Dieppe on 14th March 1835, being the second son of Mr. George Chapman, who was for nearly half a century the British Vice-Consul at that port.

He was educated at a private school at Lewes, where he developed an aptitude for applied mathematics, which determined the choice of engineering as a profession.

At the age of seventeen he began a five years' apprenticeship in the works of Messrs. Sharp, Stewart and Co., locomotive engineers, of Manchester, and went through all the departments. Upon the completion of his apprenticeship in 1857 he was selected to represent the firm in Paris.

This he did with such success that in 1858 he established a business as a consulting engineer, continuing to represent his old firm, though not exclusively. From time to time he added the representation of other firms of machine-tool makers and general engineers, and he was engaged by many of the Continental railway companies in providing designs and specifications for rolling-stock, and in one or two cases even for bridges.

When the late Mr. Tweddell evolved his system of applying hydraulic power to machine-tools, he found a strong advocate in Mr. Chapman, who installed one of the first applications of that system in the plate-working shop in Toulon Dockyard.

Many other important inventions were introduced into France and other countries under his auspices, and during the past half-century he exercised a powerful influence in the development of a European demand for British engineering productions.

He was early associated with the application of water under high pressure, and was one of the promoters and a director of the Hull Hydraulic Power Co., which was the pioneer of the London and Liverpool companies, of which he was also a director, and later the chairman. He was, too, the chairman of the Hydraulic Engineering Co., of Chester.

Another concern in which he took an active part was the Employers' Liability Assurance Corporation, which was organized when Parliament first made employers responsible for accidents. From the commencement of the company he was a director, and in later years vice-chairman.

Prior to the siege of Paris he had established an office in Westminster, and during that period he conducted his Continental business from London. After the war he continued the Paris office as his principal establishment.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1866, and was first elected to the Council in 1878, and continued until 1880; he was re-elected in 1899, and in 1907 became a Vice-president. He contributed a Paper in 1881 on "The Farquhar Filtering Apparatus." During the Paris Meetings of this Institution in 1867, 1878, and 1889 he served as honorary local secretary, and rendered invaluable services. He acted in the same capacity for the Iron and Steel Institute in 1889, and be exercised a most important influence in connection with the successive Paris Exhibitions.

In 1878 he was created Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and was promoted to the rank of Officer in 1889. He was a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, of the Institution of Naval Architects, and a life Member of the Societe des Ingenieurs Civils de France.

For some time he had suffered from gout, and latterly from weakness of the heart, to which he succumbed on 18th October 1908, in his seventy-fourth year.


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