Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,478 pages of information and 233,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Dickson

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Engineer, of Maid Lane, Southwark

1774 Born in Scotland

1798 Patent for a method of construction.

1809 Advert: 'To Turners and Vice-men. — Several Workmen in the above branches will meet with constant employment and good encouragement, by applying at John Dickson’s Steam Engine Manufactory, Maid-lane, Southwark. It is requested that none but good workmen will apply.'[1]

1811 Witness to the operation of Woolf's steam engine at Woolf and Edwards premises in Lambeth[2]

Rees's Cyclopaedia of 1819-20 featured descriptive notes and drawings of a boring machine for steam engine cylinders[3]. It is ascribed to Mr John Dixon of Maid Lane, Southwark, and erected by him at Falcon Foundry. It is almost certain that the name should be John Dickson, not Dixon.

1843 Died in Middlesex


A good, concise description of Dickson's life and work is given in the Australian Dictionary of Biography[4], from which we find that in about 1798 he moved from Dockhead to Narrow Wall, Lambeth. He began to manufacture steam engines, and in 1811 he had premises in Maid Lane, Southwark. He emigrated to New South Wales in 1813, taking machinery, including a steam engine, from his Southwark factory. He developed extensive business interests in farming, brewing, engineering, flour milling, and soap and candle manufacture, but c.1833 he was prosecuted for forgery, and absconded from bail and returned to England. He died at his home in Brook Street, Holborn, on 23 May 1843, age 69.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Morning Advertiser - Friday 20 October 1809
  2. The Engineer
  3. 'Rees's Manufacturing Industry (1819-20)' Volume 2, pp.259-260 and Vol 3 'Mechanics Plate XXXIII. This is a large selection of articles from Abraham Rees's 'The Cyclopaedia; or Universal Directory of Arts, Sciences and Literature', edited by Neil Cossons and published in 1972 by David & Charles Reprints
  4. [1] Australian Dictionary of Biography - Dickson, John (1774–1843) by G. P. Walsh