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John Fielding

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John Fielding (1849-1932) of Fielding and Platt

Presumably son of Samuel Fielding


1932 Obituary [1]

JOHN FIELDING was one of the oldest surviving members of the Institution, having been a Member since 1874.

He was born in 1849, and his death occurred at Gloucester on 2nd March 1932.

From 1865 to 1871 Mr. Fielding served his apprenticeship at the Atlas Iron Works, Gloucester, and for the next three years was in charge of the drawing office.

In 1874 he joined the firm of Messrs. Fielding and Platt of Gloucester, with which he was connected for over fifty-eight years. He was a pioneer in the design and manufacture of gas-engines, and became closely identified for a time with Mr. Ralph H. Tweddell in the production of hydraulic riveting, flanging, and other machines operating on the system devised by the latter. This plant worked at a pressure of 1,500 lb. per sq. in.

In 1882 Mr. Fielding designed and built a two-stroke gas-engine which was fitted with electrical ignition. Subsequently the four-stroke engine equipped with tube ignition was developed, and the firm became closely identified with the manufacture of internal-combustion engines.

Mr. Fielding also carried out a great deal of experimental work on bituminous gas plants, and designed a steam-engine running at 1,000 r.p.m. which embodied some of the features of the Tower spherical engine in that it incorporated a universal joint. With the advent of the modern oil-engine, Mr. Fielding handed over this branch of the business to his nephews, who were trained under his supervision.

He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and was High Sheriff of Gloucester in 1910.


1932 Obituary[2]

"THE LATE MR. JOHN FIELDING.

Mr. John Fielding, who died at Broadsground, Upton St. Leonards, Gloucester, on Wednesday, March 2, at the age of 82, was the founder of the well-known firm of Messrs. Fielding and Platt, Limited, and a pioneer in the design and manufacture of gas engines and hydraulically-operated machine tools and riveters. His connection with the firm extended over no less than 58 years, for 50 of which he had played a leading part in the conduct of the business.

John Fielding was born on July 27, 1849, and on leaving school, served a pupilage of six years, from 1865 to 1871, with the Atlas Iron Works, Gloucester, while for three years subsequently he was in charge of that firm’s drawing office and was responsible for much of the work carried out in the establishment. In 1874 he founded the firm of Messrs. Fielding and Platt, and for a time was closely identified with Mr. Ralph H. Tweddell in the production of hydraulic riveting, flanging, and other machines operating on the system devised by the latter. This plant worked at a pressure of 1,500 lb. per square inch, but machines operating at lower pressures were also manufactured for use in connection with hoists, cranes, and dock gates.

In 1882, the firm began their long connection with internal-combustion engines, when Mr. Fielding designed and built a two-stroke gas engine, which was fitted with electrical ignition. Subsequently, however, the four-stroke engine, equipped with tube ignition, was developed, the latter system exhibiting great advantages over the flame ignition which was then generally in use. To begin with, the engine was fitted with an ingenious compound valve, comprising a main valve of the mushroom type, which opened direct into the cylinder, while below it, but on the same spindle, was a bush forming another valve, which was kept in contact with the disc of the main valve by a spring. At the end of the working stroke both parts of the valve lifted and the exhaust gas passed out through the annular space between the bush and the valve chamber, while at the end of the exhaust stroke the mushroom valve only lifted, so that the outlet port was closed and fresh gases were drawn in through the space between the valve spindle and the bush. Among notable successes obtained with this type of engine, mention may be made of the unit shown at the Brussels Exhibition of 1897. This was the forerunner of its modem prototype, the inlet valves being above the exhaust valves and throttle governing being fitted. Mr. Fielding also carried out a great deal of experimental work on bituminous gas plants, and was responsible for the design of a steam engine running at 1,000 r.p.m., which embodied some of the features of the Tower spherical engine in that it incorporated a universal joint. This engine was fully described in Engineering, vol. xl., page 104 (1885). With the advent of the modem oil engine, Mr. Fielding handed over the management of this branch of the business to his nephews, who had been trained under his supervision.

Mr. Fielding was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1886, and of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1874. He acted as High Sheriff of Gloucester in 1910, and was a Justice of the Peace for that city."


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