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British Industrial History

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Thomas Henry Bailey

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Thomas Henry Bailey (1857-1939) M.Inst. C.E., (Council) M.I.Min.E., F.S.I., F.G.S.

Senior partner of S. and J. Bailey, Mining & Civil Engineers, Princes Chambers, 6, Corporation Street, Birmingham, 2. Partner in S. & J. Bailey since 1879.

1939 Private address: Marchwood, Park Road, Beckenham, Kent.

1939 Obituary [1]

THOMAS HENRY BAILEY, son of Samuel Bailey, was born at Walsall on the 22th April, 1857, and died at Beckenham on the 22nd July, 1939.

He was educated at Clifton College, Bristol, and later at King’s College, London. In accordance with the tradition of his family, which had been connected with the mining industry for several generations, he became a pupil under his father in 1876. After gaining experience at many South Staffordshire and Cannock Chase collieries, he became a partner in the firm (S. & J. Bailey) in 1879.

In 1882, still as a member of the firm, he undertook the managership of Hill’s Plymouth works and collieries at Merthyr Tydfil. Here he remodelled the collieries and railways and developed the underground workings. He was the first to introduce electric power for underground haulage, and was the inventor of an automatic decking apparatus.

In 1897 he was entrusted with the task of recovering the Huntington pits, near Cannock, which had been abandoned owing to the non-sealing of water in both shafts.

He was particularly interested in Sandwell Park colliery, and in the development of the Kent coalfield. He had given evidence before numerous commissions and departmental committees, including the Sankey Commission (on behalf of the Mineral Owners’ Joint Committee), the Samuel Commission (on behalf of the pioneer companies), and the Spontaneous Combustion in Mines Committee.

He was elected a Member of The Institution in 1896, and served on the. Council from 1926 until his death. He was a Fellow of the Chartered Surveyors’ Institution and of the Geological Society of London. He was also Member of the Institution of Mining Engineers, and of other professional societies.

He married Grace Sinclair, daughter of Thomas Bodington, in 1883. There were two sons and three daughters.

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