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British Industrial History

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James Shand

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James Shand (1823-1902) of Shand, Mason and Co, son-in-law of William Joshua Tilley.

1902 Obituary [1]

JAMES SHAND, who died at his residence in Elm Park Gardens, London, on the 10th June, 1902, was born at Edinburgh in 1823.

After being educated in that city he acquired a varied knowledge of mechanical engineering as a pupil of Mr. James Slight, then engineer to the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.

His successful management of the business of Mr. W. J. Tilley, fire-engine maker and hydraulic engineer, of Blackfriars Road, London, whom he joined in 1845, led to his taking the senior position in the firm of Shand and Mason (now Shand, Mason and Company), formed on the retirement of Mr. Tilley at the end of 1850.

Although his early attention was directed to the improvement of the manual fire-engine, as evidenced by the exhibits of the firm at the Great Exhibition of 1851, Mr. Shand was best known in connection with his efforts in bringing the steam fire-engine to its present state of practical utility. The first land steam fire-engine was constructed by Braithwaite in 1830, but its recognition in London as a valuable fire brigade appliance did not take place until 1852, when Messrs. Shand and Mason were instructed by the then London Fire Brigade to apply steam-power to the largest of the floating manual fire-engines worked by 120 men. The success of this experiment was so evident that it was immediately followed by the construction of a complete self-propelling floating steam fire-engine, the first of its kind, constructed from designs furnished in competition by Mr. Shand.

From 1858, when Messrs. Shand and Mason’s first land steam fire-engine appeared, to the present time, the progress of these machines has been rapid, Mr. Shand’s most prominent improvements having been the inclined water-tube boiler, with cylindrical tube box, by which steam of 100 lbs. pressure can be raised in a few minutes; and the treble-cylinder direct-acting steam-pump, with crank to terminate the stroke.

For many years Mr. Shand was associated with the gas industry in the South of London as Director and Deputy Chairman of the Phoenix Company, and subsequently, on the absorption of the Phoenix by the South Metropolitan Gas Company, as Chairman of the united company until 1885. In those capacities his engineering experience proved of considerable value.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 1st December, 1857, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 17th March, 1874.

1902 Obituary.[2]

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