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British Industrial History

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William A. Lighthall

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William A. Lighthall (1805-1881)


1881 Obituary [1]

Mr. William A. Lighthall, the oldest designer and builder of marine engines in the United States, died in Brooklyn recently.

He was born in Albany, September 16, 1805.

At the age of seventeen be became a machinist in the steamboat business on the North River. Subsequently he became constructing engineer for the Troy Steamboat Company.

About 1843 he was appointed engineer in the Revenue Marine Service, and constructed the engines of the revenue cutters Robert J. Walker, Thomas Jefferson, and James K. Polk. He left the Government service in 1849.

He was State Inspector-General of steamboat hulls and boilers in California for three years.

From 1847 to 1862 be was inspector of steamboats and boilers in the State of New York.


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