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Robert Wilson (1851-1898)

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Robert Wilson (1851-1898) F.R.S.E., of Nasmyth, Wilson and Co

1851 Born son of Robert Wilson

1884 Established as consultant in Westminster, presumably as a partner in Carruthers and Wilson

1890 of 7 Westminster Chambers, 13 Victoria Street, Westminster, S.W.

1896 of 13 Victoria Street, Westminster, S.W.

1898 Obituary [1]

ROBERT WILSON, eldest son of Robert Wilson of Messrs. Nasmyth Wilson and Co, Bridgewater Foundry, Patricroft was born at Low Moor, Yorkshire on 14th December 1851.

He was educated at Edinburgh University, and between terms received a considerable amount of practical training in the engineering departments and drawing office of the Bridgewater Foundry, in which his father had then become the managing partner.

In 1873 he went to India, where during the two following years he acted as the representative of his father's firm, for erecting machinery and opening up business connections in various parts of the country. He also travelled in Burmah, China, Japan, and America.

In 1877 he became a partner in the business; and in 1881, when it was merged in a limited company, he was made the managing director.

Being interested in the Koepe plan of winding from deep collieries by means of an endless rope, he read a paper on this subject in 1883 to the Chesterfield and Derbyshire Institute of Mining, Civil and Mechanical Engineers.

Having in 1884 established himself as a consulting engineer in Westminster, be paid several visits to America, Spain, and Majorca; and subsequently became one of the consulting engineers to the Antimano Railway in Venezuela, the Thames Valley and Rotorua Railway in New Zealand, the Auckland and Melbourne tramways, the Wellington and Manawatu Railway, the New Zealand Government Railways, and the Westport Harbour Board.

His first visit to the antipodes was in 1886, with a view to the formation of the New Zealand Midland Railway. With the object of substituting an incline for a summit tunnel on this line, he investigated the cost of working the Hartz Mountain Railway, upon which he read a paper to the Institution of Civil Engineers in January 1889 (vol. xcvi, page 131).

In July of the same year he went out to New Zealand to act as engineer-in-chief and general manager of the Midland Railway, having undertaken to construct and work this important line. Although his efforts were successful, difficulties arose with the colonial government, involving long litigation and protracted delays, under which his health broke down, and in 1896 he returned to England for the fourth and last time.

His death took place in London on 9th January 1898 at the age of forty-six.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1883, and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

1898 Obituary [2]

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