Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 125,709 pages of information and 196,433 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
John Bailey (1839-1892)
1893 Obituary 
JOHN BAILEY, fourth son of the late Mr. Hinton Richard Bailey, of Pittleworth, in the county of Hampshire, was born on the 31st of May, 1839, at Wallop, near Stockbridge, and was educated at a private school in Southampton.
In 1857 he was apprenticed for five years to Messrs. Summers and Day, engineers and shipbuilders, of the Northam Ironworks, Southampton. The first part of that time he spent in the shops and the latter part in the drawing-office, engaged on work for the 'Northam' and other large steamships, for the machinery of which the firm had the contract.
On the completion of his apprenticeship he was employed from 1862 to 1864 in the drawing-offices of H.M. Dockyards at Devonport and Portsmouth.
The firm was then known as Courtney, Stephens, and Bailey, the place of the elder Mr. Courtney being taken by his son, and Mr. Bailey acting as chief engineering partner. During the nineteen years this connection lasted the firm carried out many important railway works, such as the construction of bridges, girders, cylinder-foundations, and signals, including Bailey’s locking apparatus ; in addition to the manufacture of land and marine engines, boilers, hydraulic machinery, and distilling-, brewing-, and milling-plant.
The Midland Great Western, the Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford, the Great Southern and Western, and the Great Northern of Ireland Railway Companies were among the chief customers of the firm. For the latter company Mr. Bailey carried out between the years 1876 and 1864 the following works in accordance with the plans prepared by Mr. W. H. Mills, the company's Chief Engineer:- Seville Place bridge, Dublin, with ten lines of way ; a new iron roof for the goods warehouse at Navan; a water-tank at Cookstown; a public road over bridge at Lurgan; Dungannon footbridge; Sheriff Street bridge, Dublin, and Windmill Road bridge, Dundalk, each with four lines of way; Beragh footbridge; and girders for the booking hall of Amiens Street Station, Dublin; in addition to the principal part of the permanent way fastenings used on that line during the period in question.
Among other contracts carried out by the firm were:- The ironwork used in the lowering and widening of Essex Bridge, Dublin, designed by Mr. B. B. Stoney; Georges Dock swivel bridge on the North Wall; the new roofs of Westland Row Station and various other works for the Dublin, Wicklow, and Wexford Railway Company; heavy girder and ironwork for the Great Southern and Western Railway Company's goods terminus at North Wall; the Nore Viaduct at Thomastown on the Waterford and Kilkenny Railway; floating swing-bridges at the Spencer Dock; the railway bridge over the River Inny, Co. Westmeath ;. and the alteration of a rolling railway-bridge over the Shannon at Drumena, Co. Leitrim, into a single-flap bascule: the three last works being carried out for the Midland Great Western Railway Company. The alteration of the bridge over the Shannon was made, under considerable difficulties, on a sing1e line without stopping the traffic or diverting the railway.
Mr. Bailey was also connected for several years with the Old Bawn Paper Mills at Tallaght, near Dublin, and was extensively employed as an expert witness in engineering law-suits.
In 1865 he was elected a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland, and served the office of President during the years 1879 and 1880. His Presidential Address, delivered on the 14th of April, 1880, dealt with the progress of mechanical science and contained a review of recent important engineering works in all parts of the world.
He had previously presented to that Institution the following Papers:- 'Description of Captain Cole's (R.N.) Turrets, as fitted on board H.M.S. 'Royal Sovereign'; 'On Anderson's Patent Lock Arrangement for Railway Signals;' 'A 50-ton Masting-Sheers;' and 'A new kind of Locking-gear and Safety Facing-point.'
Mr. Bailey practically retired from business in 1884, and spent the remaining eight years of his life partly in England and partly on the Continent.
He died at Brighton on the 5th of August, 1892, from peritonitis. Mr. Bailey possessed great energy and firmness of character which, combined with a kind and cheerful disposition, won him many friends.
He married in 1866, Jane, daughter of the late Mr. William A. Summers, of Southampton.
He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 5th of April, 1870.