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William Mann Crosland

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William Mann Crosland (1824-1889)


1890 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM MANN CROSLAND was born at Holbeck, Leeds, in 1824. Early manifesting a talent for engineering, he was in the year 1838 apprenticed to Fenton and Murray, of Leeds, in whose factory he went through the usual routine of shops and drawing-office.

In 1843 he was transferred to Wren and Bennet, of Manchester, with whom he stayed until 1845, thus fulfilling the customary seven years.

On completing his apprenticeship, Mr. Crosland entered the works of Maudslay, Sons and Field, of Lambeth, and with that eminent firm he passed the remainder of his professional life. His duties were to contrive, adapt, and direct in the construction of marine and other engines.

In this capacity he had to do with most of the large machinery turned out by the Lambeth firm during his connection therewith. Among the most notable work of the kind was the machinery for H.M.SS. 'Valiant,' Agincourt,' 'Lord Warden,' 'Viper,' 'Sirius,' and 'Druid,' the engines of the White Star Liner 'Atlantic,' and other vessels; also similar work for the [[West India Mail Packet Co|West India Mail Packet Company]], the Union Company Cape Packet, the Russian Steam Navigation Company, and the Brazilian and Chinese Governments.

He was also concerned in making the great chain-cable proving machinery for Lloyd‘s, and the pumping machinery for the drainage of the tunnel proposed in 1868 to be made under the Indus at Attock, but which was abandoned in favour of a bridge.

Mr. Crosland was entrusted with the construction of a replica of Brunel’s block-making machinery for the Portuguese Government, and introduced some simple improvements that added greatly to the power of the machinery by obviating friction.

Although by no means proficient in mathematical or theoretical science, Mr. Crosland was a practical engineer. His knowledge of machinery was extensive, and he was frequently consulted by sanguine inventors. Of these, it might be said, that if their hopes were often dashed by his honest and outspoken criticisms, their pockets were saved in like manner.

For some years before his death Mr. Crosland retired from active professional work, though he continued to take a keen interest in all matters relating to machinery. He was also attached from the first to the Volunteer movement, in which service he held the rank of Captain.

He died on the 14th of October, 1889.

Mr. Crosland was elected an Associate on the 2nd of December, 1851, and on the divisions of that grade into the professional and non-professional classes, became an Associate Member.



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