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British Industrial History

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William Sowerby

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William Sowerby (1824-1902)


1903 Obituary [1]

. . . . After serving a pupilage with the late Joseph Pease, of Darlington, he was engaged on various railway works in Durham, Yorkshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and other parts of the country, and in 1846 he was employed on the London district of the Great Northern Railway. Whilst engaged on this work he succeeded in obtaining the post of Professor of Agricultural Engineering and Mathematics at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, which post he held for a time with success.

In 1853 and 1854 Mr. Sowerby was engaged in obtaining information and in reporting on the mineral resources of South Africa.

In 1855 he went to India, where he was employed for two years as a Resident Engineer on the East Indian Railway, and subsequently for four years as Superintendent of the Kumaon Ironworks in the Himalaya Mountains.

From 1863 to 1865 he was engaged in erecting cotton warehouses in Madras and in reporting on harbours in Madras and Bombay, and in the latter year he entered the Uncovenanted Service of the Indian Public Works Department. While in that service he was occupied in tank and bridge building, sewage and irrigation works, among which may be mentioned a nine-arched bridge over the tidal river of Kym in Gusurat, and road-making and sewage works at Poona and Surat.

On his return from India in 1878, after an absence of twenty-five years, he devoted himself more especially to reports on mining ventures and engineering schemes, in connection with which he visited Spain, Italy and Norway. He also devoted considerable time and labour to experiments, lectures . . . . [more]



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