Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Hoey

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Thomas Hoey (1801-1874)

1874 Obituary [1]

lt is with regret that I record the death of Mr. Thomas Hoey, engineer, of this city, a gentleman who was intimately connected with the progress of engineering in Glasgow.

Born in Kinross in 1801, Mr. Hoey came to this city in 1829, after spending several years in Edinburgh. He spent four or five years as foreman pattern-maker in the well-known St. Rollox Foundry, and then he entered the service of Mr. Robert Napier at the Vulcan Foundry, where he was assistant-manager for many years with the late David Elder.

He was general manager to Mr. James R. Napier, while he was in business as a shipbuilder and marine engineer, and for two or three years prior to his retirement from active labour in 1865, he held a similar position in the first shipbuilding yard of Messrs. Randolph, Elder, and Co. The floating docks built by the last-named firm were almost entirely constructed from designs which emanated from Mr. Hoey’s fertile brain.

Besides possessing an unusual amount of mechanical ingenuity and inventiveness, Mr. Hoey was a man of a very active and original mind, and bad an extraordinary amount of tact, both for conducting the practical details of a large industrial establishment, and in the management of workmen. He was one of the original proposers of the Saturday half-holiday for artisans, a social reform which was first adopted in this part of the kingdom many years ago in the works of Mr. Robert Napier; and in his latter years be devoted much attention, and with marked practical results, to the sanitary arrangements of dwelling houses, especially for the working classes, in respect alike of the warming and ventilation of the same, and the removal of household waste and excreta. His arrangements for limiting the amount of water used in flushing water-closets, and for collecting the excreta, are so original and effective that his plans have been adopted in several instances by the Police Board of Glasgow

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