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William Gilbert Ginty

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William Gilbert Ginty (c1820-1866)


1868 Obituary [1]

MR. WILLIAM GILBERT GINTY was born in Ireland about the year 1820.

His father was an architect, and the son, when a youth, joined the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, and remained connected with it and that of England for eight years.

Mr. W. G. Ginty was also employed on the Tithe Commission Survey, and was afterwards, for five years, engaged in works connected with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, under Mr. Hawkshaw (Past President Inst. C.E.).

He was then appointed Engineer and Manager to the Hydro-Carbon Gas Company; and rendered valuable service as Honorary Secretary to the Manchester Athenaeum.

The Baron de Maua, who had established the Imperial Gas Works at Rio de Janeiro, under concession from the Brazilian Government, required a general manager. Mr. Ginty was selected in 1854 - as one possessing the requisite engineering and administrative talent - and his judicious and energetic management raised the undertaking into a most prosperous state, both as regarded efficiency and pecuniary success ; and on its establishment ss a public Company in England, in 1865, Mr. Ginty was retained as Manager.

In 1857 Mr. Ginty designed and subsequently constructed a canal 40 feet wide and about 1,400 yards in length for the conveyance of market produce from the bay at the Aterrado Bridge to the public market. It was spanned by several iron bridges ; the sides were lined with walls of rubble masonry, and the depth of water at high water was 8 feet. By this work a malaria-breeding swamp was removed and the sanatory condition of the city much improved.

In 1861 the organization and administration of the Tijuca Railway, from Rio to Tijuca Sierra, were confided to Mr. Ginty, on the Company by which it had been made falling into difficulties ; and it was owing to his tact and perseverance that the prejudices against the locomotive on this street tramway were overcome.

In 1865, as Manager of the Company, he entered into a contract with the Brazilian Government for the construction of a carriage-road of about 5,150 yards in length, in continuation of the tramway up the mountain to the Praca de Boa Vista at Tijuca.

This road was approaching completion at the time of his death. The engineering skill, practical good sense, and sound judgment of Mr. Ginty were found valuable in the sanatory arrangement of the Palace grounds for the Emperor, and in numerous consultations with other Engineers on any public engineering project connected with water supply, sewerage, dock and warehouse accommodation; and in May, 1860, the Emperor of Brazil recognized his public services by conferring upon him the honour of knighthood in the Brazilian Order of the Bose.

Mr. Ginty was elected a Member of the Institution on the 5th of February, 1861, and died suddenly of paralysis of the brain succeeding apoplexy on the 13th July, 1866. He was greatly respected for his straightforward energy and honourable conduct in his profession, whilst he gained the respect and esteem of those with whom he was associated by his good feeling, kindliness of heart, and sterling integrity, combined with bright intelligence, and sparkling wit.


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