Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 134,019 pages of information and 213,092 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Thomas Edward Dunn

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Thomas Edward Dunn (1834-1878)

1864 Thomas Edward Dunn, Engineer, Jumna Bridge, East Indian Railway, Allahabad, India.[1]


1878 Obituary [2]

MR. THOMAS EDWARD DUNN was born on the 17th of May, 1834, at Howick, where his father, Mr. Robert Dunn, practised as architect and surveyor to Earl Grey.

As a boy he gave evidence of much practical ingenuity, constructing on one occasion a fountain for a miniature flower-garden, which gained him a prize at a local flower show.

After receiving his preliminary education at schools near home, he was sent to Edinburgh University, with a special view to studying natural philosophy, mathematics, and chemistry.

On leaving the University, at the expiration of three terms, he expressed a wish to study medicine, but his father being averse from this, he was sent to London, where he was introduced to Messrs. Lucas Brothers, the eminent contractors. By Messrs. Lucas he was received as a pupil, and dispatched to their works at Lowestoft, where he remained two years, until June, 1855.

He then assisted his father for about a year, after which he entered the service of the North-Eastern Railway Company, as an assistant under Mr. John Bourne, with whom he remained eighteen months.

In December, 1857, he obtained an appointment on the East Indian railway, and proceeded to Calcutta. On his arrival he was posted by Mr. George Rurnbull, M.Inst.C.E., at that time Chief Engineer of the Company, to the Bengal section, to assist Messrs. T. M. Vigors and C. H. Denham, MM. Inst. C.E.

In December, 1859, Mr. Dunn was transferred to the North-West Provinces section, under Mr. George Sibley, M. Inst. C.E., by whom he was placed in charge, as Assistant Engineer, of the northern half of the large bridge over the Jumna at Allahabad, where he remained until its completion in 1865, having latterly had entire responsible charge of the bridge works.

In August of the same year he was entrusted with the charge of the Jumna Bridge district, and two months after had the West Mirzapore district added, including the Tonse Bridge. These important duties he fulfilled until 1866, when he visited Europe on sick leave.

In the following year he returned to India, and had several temporary charges until March 1868, when he assumed charge of the Benares district of about 86 miles. A year afterwards he was transferred to the Delhi district, which included the junction with the Sind, Punjab, and Delhi line at Ghazeeabad, and with the Oude and Rohilkund railway at Allyghur, as well as the Delhi Jumna bridge.

In 1871 Mr. Sibley selected Mr. Dunn as the fittest man on the staff to develop the Kurhurballee collieries, which the company had then acquired, and which now raise upwards of 30,000 tons of steam coal annually - more than enough to supply the whole demands of the East Indian railway system of 1,500 miles. Here he remained until severe illness compelled him to go on leave of absence.

He had intended to resume his duties very shortly, but he died suddenly at home on the 31st of May, 1878, when only forty-four years of age.

Mr. Dunn was a fair mechanic, and had a thorough knowledge of all the practical parts of his profession. He was devoted to his work; and it was doubtless the exposure, by night as well as by day, involved in that devotion, which laid the seeds of the disease which terminated his career while yet in the prime of life.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 3rd of February, 1863, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 17th of November, 1874.


1879 Obituary [3]

THOMAS EDWARD DUNN was born on 17th May 1834 at Howick, Northumberland, where his father was architect and surveyor to Earl Grey.

After studying at Edinburgh University, he became a pupil of Messrs. Lucas Brothers in London, and was employed by them upon works at Lowestoft.

He afterwards acted as assistant to his father, and subsequently to Mr. John Bourne on the North Eastern Railway.

In 1857 he obtained an appointment on the East Indian Railway, and in 1859 was placed in charge of the construction of the large bridge carrying that railway over the river Jumna at Allahabad.

After its completion in 1865 he had charge of various other portions of the line until 1871, when he was appointed to develop the Kurhurballee Collieries, which had then been acquired by the railway. These collieries now supply 30,000 tons per annum, more than enough for the whole demands of the East Indian Railway.

While thus engaged, he was compelled by severe illness to return to England on leave, and died suddenly on 31st May 1878 at the age of forty-four.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1864.


See Also

Loading...

Sources of Information