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James Lyons Cleminson

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1882.
1882. American mogul locomotive for the Newfoundland Railway.
1883.
1884. Locomotive for the Buenos Ayres & Pacific Railway.
1887. Siee Ho Bridge, China Railways, designed with Claude W. Kinder.

James Lyons Cleminson (1840-1896), Civil Engineer and inventor of Cleminson's patent axle system for railway rolling stock.

1840 Born the son of John Cleminson in Leeds


1896 Obituary [1]

JAMES LYONS CLEMINSON died at his residence, 35 Chester Terrace, Regent's Park, on November 15, 1896, at the age of fifty-six. He was the eldest son of the late Mr. John Cleminson, who was locomotive superintendent of the Iquique, or the original Nitrate Railway, and who was also a naval engineer, and had fought in the Baltic and under Garibaldi.

His son was educated at Genoa and Marseilles, and at an early age gave indication of that engineering skill for which he was subsequently noted. He served his apprenticeship under Mr. John England (sic), of Hatcham Iron-works, and was then employed as chief draughtsman to the Somerset and Dorset Railway, where his aptitude in designing rolling-stock was speedily recognised. He afterwards came to London, and was appointed manager to Mr. Robert Fairlie, with whom he was intimately associated in designing and bringing out the Fairlie locomotive.

For several years he was chief of the drawing department, and technical adviser to the Isca Foundry Company, Newport, and on returning to the metropolis he occupied several important positions in connection with the firm of Clarke, Punchard & Co.

In 1874 he commenced business as a civil and consulting engineer; and amongst the many projects with which he has been identified as consulting engineer are the Buenos Ayres and Pacific Railway, of which he was the originator, Bahia Blanca and North-Western, Ville Maria and Rufino, Bahia and San Francisco, and North Wales Narrow-Gauge Railway. He was also consulting engineer to the only railway in China, viz., the Imperial Railway of North China. In this capacity he frequently came into contact with Li Hung Chang, and was created a Chinese mandarin in recognition of his distinguished services.

Having spent a considerable time in China, Mr. Cleminson possessed an intimate knowledge of that empire and its resources. He had also bestowed upon him various decorations from different parts of the world in appreciation of his railway enterprise. He was the inventor of the Cleminson composite wheel, and of the well-known flexible wheel base, the utility of which was universally recognised. Besides possessing a rare engineering knowledge, he devoted himself especially to the study of the chemical composition of steel.

Mr. Cleminson was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1882.


1896 Obituary [2]

JAMES CLEMINSON was born in Leeds on 11th October 1840.

He was the eldest son of Mr. John Cleminson, locomotive superintendent of the Iquique or original Nitrate Railway, who was also a naval engineer and had fought in the Baltic and under Garibaldi.

He was educated at Genoa and Marseilles, and was apprenticed in 1857 to Mr. George England, Hatcham Iron Works, New Cross; and in 1861 was employed as chief draughtsman to the Somerset and Dorset Railway, where his aptitude in designing rolling stock was speedily recognised.

In 1864 he went to London, and became manager to Mr. Robert F. Fairlie, with whom he was intimately associated in designing and bringing out the Fairlie locomotive.

From 1865 to 1868 he was chief of the drawing department and technical adviser at the Isca Foundry, Newport, Monmouthshire; and on returning to London occupied important positions in connection with the firm of Messrs. Clark, Punchard and Co.

In 1874 he commenced business on his own account as civil and consulting engineer; and amongst the many projects with which he was identified were the Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway, of which he was the originator, the Bahia Blanca and North Western, the Villa Maria and Rufino, the Bahia and San Francisco, and the North Wales Narrow-Gauge Railway.

He was also consulting engineer to the Imperial Railway of North China, the only railway in China, in which capacity he was well known to Li Hung Chang, and was created a mandarin in recognition of his services. He also received decorations from other countries in appreciation of his railway enterprise.

He was the inventor of the flexible wheel-base system of rolling stock known by his name, and used extensively throughout the world. Besides possessing a wide engineering knowledge, he devoted much time to studying the chemical composition of steel.

After suffering from a painful malady for several years, his deaths took place at his residence in London on 15th November 1896, at the age of fifty-six.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1871; and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


1897 Obituary [3]



1896 Obituary [4]



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