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Richard Clere Parsons

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Richard Clere Parsons (1851-1923) of Kitson and Co

Brother of Charles Algernon Parsons

Later of 39 Victoria Street, London

1909 Panflex Spring Wheel

1923 Obituary [1]

The Hon. RICHARD CLERE PARSONS was born at Birr, or Parsonstown, by which name it is also known, King's County, Ireland, in 1851, being the third son of the third Earl of Rosse, who was for some time President of the Royal Society and whose name will always be associated with the famous reflecting telescope which he constructed and erected at Birr.

He was educated at home, and in 1869 passed on to Trinity College, Dublin, taking an engineering degree with honours in 1873.

He was then apprenticed to Messrs. Easton and Anderson, of Erith, and remained with the firm until 1877.

In the following year he became a Member of this Institution, and read a Paper before it in 1879 on "The Loss of Power in the Screw-Propeller, and the means of improving Its Efficiency."

On the termination of his apprenticeship he was first engaged as resident engineer, under Mr. Edward Easton, on the South Hants Water Works. He was also occupied with various designing and erecting works for Easton and Anderson, and in 1880 became a partner in the firm of Kitson and Co., Ltd., of Leeds.

During this period the firm constructed several examples of the rotary steam-engine, which was one of the earliest inventions of his youngest brother, now the Hon. Sir Charles Parsons.

In 1887 he started a consulting practice (which he continued until his death), and later in that year went into partnership with the late Mr. J. F. La Trobe Bateman. His consulting work was chiefly with works executed abroad, among which may be mentioned the complete water and drainage scheme for Buenos Aires, and the preparation of a drainage scheme for St. Petersburg. He designed for the Waterworks Company of Rosario a very extensive installation of mechanical filters which included the apparatus known as the Tiltometer, which added a coagulant to water before filtration. The apparatus is automatic, and adds a fixed percentage of chemical reagent to the raw water.

Shortly after he brought out the Senfrot which was capable of adding similar reagents to water under pressure.

In 1911 he invented the Stereophagus pump, which was intended for pumping sewage and very dirty water, and contained in addition to the usual spiral blades a knife for cutting up any solids present, also the Flexala pump having flexible vanes. He devoted much attention to higher educational work, and in later years was Treasurer and Deputy-Chairman of the Delegacy of King's College of the University of London. He was also a Governor of the Imperial College of Science and Technology, and a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, to which Institution he contributed several Papers.

His death took place in London on 26th January 1923, at the age of seventy-one.

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