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John Joseph Platts (1840-1908)
son of Joseph Platts
1908 Obituary 
JOHN JOSEPH PLATTS was born at Odessa on 23rd April 1840, being the eldest son of the into Mr. Joseph Platts, chief consulting engineer to the Russian Imperial Admiralty at St. Petersburg. He was at school for some time in Russia, but at the outbreak of the Crimean War the family left Russia for England, and hero he completed his education and received his first lessons in engineering from his grandfather, the late Mr. John Tandy, one of Boulton and Watt's engineers.
He served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Ravenhill, Salkeld and Co., of London, after which he obtained a knowledge of railway and locomotive engineering at Shildon, Durham, under the late Mr. William Bouch, locomotive manager to the old Stockton and Darlington Railway, with whom he remained a number of years in charge of the erecting department.
In 1866 he was appointed manager of Messrs. Hopson, Gilkes and Co.'s Phoenix Foundry at Shildon, and subsequently had charge of that firm's extensive outdoor work at Middlesbrough, which included the erection of ironworks plant and blast-furnaces.
He then accepted the management of the Bridgwater Ironworks at Bridgwater, during which employ he was invited by the late General Maltzoff to take the management of his extensive iron and locomotive works at Briansk and Ludinovo. Here his knowledge of the Russian language was of the greatest assistance to him in his many duties.
He remained with General Mirltzoff for a period of seven years, after which, on his return to England he became the manager of the Avonside Engine Works at Bristol, where he remained but a short time, leaving England again to take up the dirties of Engineer-in-chief to the Odessa Water Works Co., in Odessa. He was shortly afterwards appointed manager to the Company, and combined with these duties also those of engineer. In this position he remained for upwards of twenty years, filling a post which was made extremely arduous, owing to the antagonism of the municipal authorities towards the Company. At the wish of the directors, and greatly owing to his diplomacy, the purchase of the waterworks by the Municipality from the English Company was successfully negotiated.
For a few years after this transfer he remained in the employ of the Odessa Municipality and superintended the extension of the waterworks according to plans and designs prepared by him.
After the completion of these extensions, which cost nearly £600,000, he resigned his position and retired to England. He was much interested in sanitation, and during his service with the Municipality of Odessa, acting on his advice and with his professional assistance, much was done to improve the sanitary condition of the city. He acted as consulting engineer to the Municipalty in the designing and erection of the new Municipal Hospital, in the construction of the Kisheneff Lunatic Asylum, the Odessa Municipal Laundry and Bakery, and a number of municipal enterprises of a nature to improve the health of the city. He introduced into Russia the principle of bacterial filtration of sewage, and was the author of a number of Papers which he read before the Russian Imperial Technical Society.
His death took place at his residence near London on 21st Juno 1908, at the age of sixty-eight.
He became a Member of this Institution in 1878.
1909 Obituary