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British Industrial History

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Joseph Quick

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Joseph Quick (1809-1894)

1894 Obituary [1]

JOSEPH QUICK was born in Chelsea on the 6th of November, 1809.

He began to study engineering under his father, who was at that time Engineer of the old Southwark Waterworks Co, which drew its supply from the Thames at Bankside.

Shortly afterwards, however, he was placed in the works of Maudslay, Sons and Field, where he remained for seven years and acquired a knowledge of practical mechanics which he subsequently found extremely useful.

On leaving Messrs. Maudslay he entered the service of the Southwark Waterworks Company as Resident Engineer, and in 1844 was appointed Engineer to the Company, with which was amalgamated in the following year the Vauxhall Water Co.

The Southwark Company’s works were at Battersea and the Vauxhall Company’s works at Vauxhall Bridge; and between 1845 and 1847 the latter were abolished and the united Company’s works were concentrated at Battersea. In the year 1850 Mr. Quick was appointed Consulting Engineer to the Grand Junction Waterworks Co, in which capacity he advised as to the pumping and filtering works and reservoirs at Kew Bridge and Campden Hill.

Consequent upon the cholera epidemic of 1848 and 1849, the water-supply of the Metropolis had become a very prominent question. Mr. Quick was consulted by the Government as to the practicability of purchasing the property of all the London water companies, with the view of the future supply being taken from purer sources and carried on under one board of management to ensure greater economy in working. A Parliamentary Committee was appointed, but it was found impracticable to complete the inquiry until 1852.

In the result the Metropolis Water Act of that year was passed, all the companies drawing their supply from the River Thames being required to remove the point of intake to above the tidal influence at Teddington. It was further enacted that all water supplied should be filtered and that all storage reservoirs within a radius of 5 miles from St. Paul's should be covered. This necessitated the construction of extensive works at Hampton-on-Thames and of large additions to the pumping stations at Kew Bridge and Battersea by the Southwark and Vauxhall and the Grand Junction Water Companies, all of which were designed and carried out by Mr. Quick as engineer.

From that period until the year 1876 he continued to act in the same capacity for those companies and, in addition to the works above referred to, constructed large covered service-reservoirs at Shoot-up Hill, Kilburn, and at Nunhead.....[more]

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