Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Wesley Hackworth

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John Wesley Hackworth.
Patent horizontal high-pressure engine.
1859. Radial valve gear.
Patent winch.

John Wesley Hackworth (1820-1891) of J. W. Hackworth

Born 8th May 1820 at Walbottle the son of Timothy Hackworth

At the age of 17 he went to Russia and introduced the locomotive. He travelled with George Thompson, a foreman at Shildon, and others.

He became the Works Manager at Shildon

1850 On the death of his father in 1850 John Wesley moved to Darlington and started making stationary engines and machinery - see J. W. Hackworth.

1851 John Hackworth was living at Shildon, aged 30 (born at Walbottle), an Engineer, with his wife Ann and their three daughters, and Joseph Salkeld (age 20) an apprentice. Plus a servant. [1]

1859 He took out a patent for a new type of 'dynamic valve gear' for steam engines. This became known as Hackworth Radial Valve Gear, and gave rise to many similar types of radial valve gear, particularly for marine engine use.

1861 John W. Hackworth is living in a boarding house in Nottingham (age 40 and born at Walbottle) and shown as unmarried, a Traveller and Engineer. [2]

He exhibited at the 1862 London Exhibition and showed his horizontal high-pressure steam engine.

In 1871 he gave up the Darlington works

1872 Visited the USA and Canada and returned in 1875

He then became a Consulting Engineer at Darlington, then Sunderland and later in London

1881 John W. Hackworth is living as a Lodger at 31 Hurworth Terrace, Darlington, (age 60 and born at Belford, Northumberland) and is a Widower and a Civil and Mechanical Consulting Engineer. [3]

1891 He died at Sunderland on the 13th July 1891 at the age of 71

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1851 Census
  2. 1861 Census
  3. 1881 Census
  • Timothy Hackworth and the Locomotive by Robert Young. Published 1923.