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Thomas Harry Houghton

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Thomas Harry Houghton (1857-1924)

1924 Obituary [1]

THOMAS HARRY HOUGHTON was born at Dudley, Worcestershire, on 29th January 1857.

On leaving school he entered the works of Messrs. Maudday Brothers, Cardiff, [This should probably be Maudslay Brothers ] as a pupil in 1873, being mainly engaged on engineering work connected with dock gates, bridges, and piers.

Three years later he became a draughtsman in the works of Messrs. McLaren and Co., Bankside, London; and in 1878 he was similarly employed by Messrs. James Simpson and Co., of 101 Grosvenor Road, London, with which firm he remained for many years, being placed in charge of outside work.

In 1890 he went to Australia on behalf of Messrs. Simpson, the task entrusted to him being the installation of the pumping plant at the Crown Street Water Works, Sydney, New South Wales. On the completion of this work he entered into private practice in Sydney, and gradually won for himself an outstanding position in the engineering world.

His services and advice were largely in demand for purposes of inspection, report, valuation, and arbitration; and the wide range of the public and private enterprises covered by his professional practice may be gathered from the fact that it comprised large refrigerating works, industrial buildings, water supply and irrigation, filtration and sewage schemes, woollen mills and meat works, and other industrial matters that affected wide interests. He was entrusted with important work in connexion with the State Abattoirs by the New South Wales Board of Health, and subsequently by the Metropolitan Meat Industry Board.

His activities, too, were not confined to New South Wales, but were on wider lines, and are to be seen to-day in Melbourne, Adelaide, Broken Hill, Christchurch, and Wellington. His keen appreciation of his duty as an engineer and as a citizen induced him to take active interest in all matters, both professional and social, that were connected with engineering; and his co-operation was eagerly sought for in developing the objects of the various technical and scientific bodies with which he. was associated.

Amongst these societies must be especially mentioned this Institution, of which he became a Member in 1889. In this brief memoir the Institution Council desire to place on record their appreciation of the assistance which Mr. Houghton rendered as Chairman of the Australian Advisory Committee from its inception in 1922, and as a Local Correspondent for many years previous to that date. He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Past-Councillor of the Institution of Engineers (Australia), and a Past-President of the Royal Society of New South Wales.

His death took place suddenly in his sixty-eighth year on 27th September 1924, at Mosman, New South Wales.

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