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Tommaso Cini

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Tommaso Cini (1812-1852)

1853 Obituary [1]

SIGNORTO MMASO CINI was born in 1812, at San Marcello, in the Tuscan Apennines, where his family have long held a high position, amongst the large landed proprietors of the district. He early exhibited a predilection for mechanical pursuits, and was educated at the University of Pisa, with a view to his adopting the profession of an Engineer. About the year 1832 he was engaged in building and establishing, on the family property,. a large paper mill, in which, amongst his numerous avocations, he continued to be deeply interested until the period of his decease.

Between 1842 and 1845, he was engaged as Architect and Engineer, in the construction of an extensive woollen factory, and of two large establishments for smelting copper, besides supplying many architectural, mechanical, and civil engineering designs, and was consulted in most of the new industrial undertakings of Tuscany. In 1845 he completed the surveys for a railroad across his native mountains, from Pistoja, into the Bolognese territory; an undertaking presenting many difficulties, in preparing for which, and in mastering all obstacles, he exhibited great skill and talent ; the most striking qualities of his mind being a wonderful facility in resources, united to untiring energy and application. The necessary concession, for the Apennine railroad, being obtained from the Government, by him and his brothers, the Company was formed and the capital subscribed, when the political crisis of 1848 put an end to the undertaking, and the Company was dissolved.

In 1847, Signor Cini passed three months in England, visiting the most important engineering works connected with the railroads, and on his return to Italy, he was induced by a private Company, to make a survey for a line between Rome and the Neapolitan frontier; whilst occupied on this project, the revolution broke out at Milan, and Signor Cini immediately joined the Italian forces, in Lombardy. A commission in the Corps of Engineers was given to him, and he served, with great energy and distinguished courage, through all the unfortunate campaign ; at Curtatone, Casal Maggiore, and Brescia, gaining the approbation of his commanding officer, and the goodwill and esteem of his comrades.

Italy being once more brought into a state of tranquillity, Signor Cini returned to his civil occupations, and on the death of the Engineer-in-chief of the line of railroad, then in course of construction, between Lucca and Pistoja, he was selected by the Company to fill the vacant post, and he constructed that part of the line between Pescia and Pistoja. He still did not lose sight of his favourite project, of connecting the Adriatic with the Mediterranean by a railroad across the Apennines ; and in 1851, when the different governments of Central Italy began to entertain the idea of uniting, to construct a line between Parma, Modena, Bologna and Tuscany, Signor Cini wrote a small work entitled 'Sui passi che presenta l’dppenino Toscano, per una via ferrata,' and when the construction of the line was decreed and the Company was formed, he was appointed the chief Engineer of the whole line from Reggio and Modena, across the mountains, to Pistoja.

Just at this moment, when everything appeared propitious towards the execution of the undertaking, to which he had devoted such an amount of energy and of valuable time,-when nothing remained, but to obtain the ultimate ratification of the contracts between the Governments and the Company, for which purpose he made a journey to Modena, his strength failed, the excessive mental and bodily exertion he had undergone, had irrecoverably shattered his frame, and he died on the 25th of June 1852, (only the day before the last contracts were to have been signed,) in the fortieth year of his age, regretted by his country, beloved and esteemed by his friends and all who knew him.

He joined this Institution on the 29th of June 1847, as a Member, but his constant occupations in Italy precluded his attending the meetings, or contributing the original communications which he had promised.

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