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Samuel Parker Bidder, Junior

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Samuel Parker Bidder, Junior (1843-1878)


1878 Obituary [1]

MR. SAMUEL PARKER BIDDER, Jun., son of the late Mr. Samuel Parker Bidder, was born on the 10th of November, 1843.

He served an apprenticeship at the works of Messrs. Robert Stephenson and Co., Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and was afterwards for between three and four years Assistant Manager to the Victoria Docks Graving Dock, engaged in the construction and repairing of ships, the building of floating docks, pontoons, bridge work, &c.

In December, 1868, a paper by him was read, “On Machines employed in working and breaking-down Coal, so as to avoid the use of Gunpowder.” For this communication a Telford premium of books was awarded to him. The machinery described formed the subject of two patents, dated respectively the 26th of October and the 17th of November, 1868, “for apparatus for breaking down coal, shale, stone, and other minerals.”

In the following year, on the 2nd of April, he took out a patent for safety lamps and apparatus employed in connection therewith. He exhibited one of these lamps at the President’s conversazione of 1869, when it attracted attention as a successful attempt to solve the difficult problem of preventing miners from recklessly exposing naked lights in fiery mines. A powerful electro-magnet, in the office of the Mine Superintendent, was employed to lock the lamp, which in the hands of the miner was thus rendered useless for any but its legitimate purpose. This safety lamp has come into very general use in the South Wales and other districts.

Mr. S. P. Bidder was constantly occupied in scheming ingenious combinations of machinery. Latterly he was engaged upon apparatus for the automatic transcription of telegrams, and had nearly matured his invention, when a promising career was cut short by his death, which occurred on the 10th of January, 1878, when only thirty-five years of age.

Mr. Bidder was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 1st of December, 1868.


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