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British Industrial History

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Thomas Adams (1826-1882)

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of Thomas Adams


1883 Obituary [1]

THOMAS ADAMS was born on 3rd March 1826 at Dalmeny, small village near Linlithgow in Scotland; and died very suddenly at Sandown, Isle of Wight, on 9th April 1882, at the age of fifty-six.

He worked for many years as a workman in locomotive shops; and also had a varied experience in marine work, gained at different marine engineering establishments in the country.

His first venture in business was the introduction of a balanced slide-valve, which was applied in great numbers to locomotive and winding engines, and also to several ships of the English and French navies. Through some cause the business did not prosper financially, and Mr. Adams eventually found himself once more a poor man.

About 1873 however he brought out a new spring Safety-Valve. It was freely prophesied that this valve could not possibly work owing to the increasing resistance of the spring as the valve lifted. How fallacious was this view of the question may be inferred from the fact that over 20,000 "Adams" valves are working at the present moment.

Mr. Adams started the Ant and Bee Works, West Gorton, Manchester, for their manufacture, and was actively engaged to the day of his death with the various details of the business.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1875, and was a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects, and of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland.


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