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Richard Hodson

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Richard Hodson (1833-1890) of the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co


1890 Obituary [1]

RICHARD HODSON was born in Dudley on 19th January 1831, and was educated at the Grammar School in Leamington.

After serving his apprenticeship with Messrs. Simpson and Co., London, he joined the Thames Iron Works, Blackwall, and remained in their employ until his death, a period of twenty-seven years.

Amongst the works on which he was engaged in this connection were:- the roof over the Westminster Aquarium, the new Blackfriars railway bridge, and the erection of gates for the Albert Dock, London, for the Barry Dock, Cardiff, and for Penzance Dock; also the turret on the Admiralty Pier, Dover, and other works of less importance.

He died on 22nd July 1890, at the age of fifty-nine.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1882.


1891 Obituary [2]

RICHARD HODSON was born at Dudley, Worcestershire, on the 19th of January, 1833, and was educated at the Grammar School, Leamington.

After some private study, principally of mathematics and mechanics, he was apprenticed in 1858 to Simpson and Co. of Grosvenor Road, Pimlico, where he served a regular pupilage, working for three years in the shops and afterwards for a similar period in the drawing-office, and latterly being placed in charge of the erection and working of both stationary and marine engines.

During the whole of this time he was in direct contact with the late David Thomson, then Manager for Messrs. Simpson and Co. This gentleman, who was a mechanical engineer of the highest order, had a very favourable opinion of Mr. Hodson’s personal character and mechanical ability, and entrusted him at an early period with work of a responsible nature.

In 1865 Mr. Hodson entered the service of the Thames Iron Works and Shipbuilding Co, Blackwall, as Chief of the Drawing Office. In that capacity he designed and executed works of a very varied character, such as steam-engines, hydraulic machinery, dock-gates and machinery, dredgers, caissons, wrought-iron girder bridges, and iron structures generally.

In 1871 he became Chief Engineer to the Company, which position he held until his death.

Early in 1882 he was much occupied in perfecting his high-speed rotary-engines which were then largely used for driving dynamos. The girders of the extension of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Bridge at Blackfriars, and the machinery for the Dover Pier Turret were made under his direction, the execution of the work, like everything he did, being carefully studied even to the smallest detail.

Mr. Hodson was originally destined for another profession, but, being of a mechanical order of mind, turned early to congenial pursuits. While with Messrs. Simpson and Co. he became a competent workman and a general favourite with the men, who readily recognized capacity in one who understood how to work with them without impairing his own status. That part of his active life which was devoted to the practice of the profession was also largely spent in scientific study. He was a student in the true sense of the term, never losing sight of the fact that there is no finality in science. In this way he was constantly evolving fresh mechanical developments, for which he took out several patents. The most strongly marked of his professional characteristics was a mastery of general principles with a knowledge of the smallest details.

Mr. Hodson’s was a typically sturdy character. Direct and truthful to a degree, he was always to be relied upon. Those who knew him best mourn the loss of a friend, cheerful under all circumstances- even under that of the long illness which terminated in his death on the 22nd of July, 1890.

Mr. Hodson was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 4th of March, 1862, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 30th of April, 1878.



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