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British Industrial History

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John Coghlan

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John Coghlan (1824-1890)


1891 Obituary [1]

. . . . His first professional essay was under Sir John Macneill and Charles Vignoles on the surveys of several lines of railway in Ireland.

In 1846 he was appointed Assistant- Engineer by the Board of Public Works in Ireland, and was for six years Resident Engineer, during which time he superintended the execution of many public works and improvements. After this he was selected by Sir Charles Fox to proceed to Spain to report upon various projects in which Fox and Henderson were engaged.

On his return he was specially recommended by Sir Charles Fox and by the Commissioner of Public Works in Ireland, on account of his professional ability and knowledge of foreign languages, to go to Sweden in the service of the Government.

There he made the plans and surveys of a railway to unite the ports of Maleno and Helsinborg, and for the creditable manner in which he performed this work he received a highly complimentary letter from the Swedish Government.

He was then for nearly three years Engineer in a large engineering establishment in Westphalia, which comprised, among their various undertakings, the construction of railways, the manufacture of locomotives, well-sinking, and other works of utility. It was at this time that the Argentine Republic was beginning to show signs of recovery from the effects of the long civil war, and to devote some attention to works of improvement.

Mr. Coghlan, on his return from Prussia in 1857, was selected, through the influence of Mr. Lionel Gisborne, to occupy the position of Government Engineer. Prom this period commenced the career which made Mr. Coghlan so conspicuous a figure in Argentine affairs, and so valuable in connection with British interests and railway enterprise in that country. . . . .

John Coghlan deserves to be described as one of the pioneers of English enterprise on the River Plate. . . .

After a long and honourable career of thirty years Mr. Coghlan returned to his native land, and was elected a Director of the Buenos Ayres Great Southern Railway Company in London in March, 1887. . . . [more]


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