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James William Smith

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James William Smith (1839-1900)


1901 Obituary [1]

JAMES WILLIAM SMITH, born on the 14th July, 1839, served a pupilage of five years to his father, Mr. William Edward Smith.

He was subsequently engaged from 1857 to 1860 in making a survey and in carrying out new works on the estate of Sir Moses Montefiore at Jerusalem, including the blasting of a hillside, the formation of large rain-water reservoirs and the erection of a building 400 feet in length entirely of solid masonry, constructed to resist earthquake shocks.

In 1858 he was also employed in connection with the restoration of the Church of St. Lawrence, Thanet; and in 1861 he had charge of the erection of a sea-wall on the west side of Ramsgate Harbour.

In 1862-63 he was engaged, in conjunction with his father, on the restoration of the church of St. Mary at Minster, and in 1866 on similar work at the Church of St. Mary at Chislet near Canterbury.

In 1865-66 he erected steam flour mills at Ramsgate for Messrs. Whitmore, of Ipswich, and in 1867 he had sole charge of the survey of the Dowager Lady Truro’s estate, comprising the greater part of the eastern portion of the town of Ramsgate.

In 1870-71 he was engaged under the late Mr. John Ramsay in taking up the old apron of the eastern sluices of Ramsgate Harbour, forming a new concrete foundation, and laying a new apron, and from 1872 to 1876 he was employed on public sewer works and road-making.

In 1878 Mr. Smith was appointed an Assistant Engineer for sewerage and waterworks, to the Municipality of Bombay, under the late Mr. Rienzi Walton. The main drainage works of that city were then in progress, and on their completion Mr. Smith was appointed Deputy Executive Engineer for Drainage, and in 1892 Special Drainage Engineer, the duties of which post included the design and supervision of the construction of all new extensions.

The principal works designed and carried out by him were the drainage of the Colaba and Mazagon Districts on the Shone system. He also elaborated a scheme for the drainage of the flats, which will be put in hand shortly.

Mr. Smith died at Bombay on the 21st July, 1900. His work as an engineer was distinguished by most painstaking accuracy. He was a well-known Mason, having served almost every possible office up to that of Grand Master of Scottish Freemasons in India. An active volunteer, he was for some years Captain of the Bombay Municipal Company of Rifle Volunteers. His amiable disposition gained for him many friends.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 12th May, 1874, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 5th March, 1889.

In 1888 he contributed to the Proceedings a Paper entitled, Hurst’s Triangular Prismatic Formula for Earthwork compared with the Prismoidal Formula.”



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