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British Industrial History

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William Jenkins

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William Jenkins (1803-1867)

1857 Locomotive Superintendent of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.[1]

1868 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM JENKINS was born in 1803 at Llandewi Brefi, a small village in Cardiganshire, South Wales, where his father was a millwright.

After serving an apprenticeship to his father and to Messrs. Hughes and Wren in Manchester, he was engaged under the Liverpool Dock Corporation from 1826 to 1835, having charge of the engines and machinery employed in constructing the docks at the north end; and in 1830 he was sent to superintend the construction of the cranes and tramroads in a granite quarry in Scotland, from which the granite was procured for the Liverpool docks.

In 1835 he was appointed to superintend the construction of the Manchester and Bolton Railway, the canal between the same places being also under his charge; and on the opening of the railway in 1838 he was appointed superintendent and manager of both the canal and the railway.

Since the amalgamation of the Manchester and Bolton with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway in 1845 he held the office of locomotive superintendent of the amalgamated lines up to the time of his death, which occurred on 20th November 1867 at the age of 63, after a lingering illness.

He introduced a plan for the consumption of smoke in coal-burning locomotives, which was extensively adopted by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and other lines.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1857.

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