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British Industrial History

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William Townsend

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William Townsend (1838-1870)

1863 William Townsend, Engineer, West Orchard, Coventry.[1]

1871 April 19th. Died.

1871 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM TOWNSEND was born at Coventry in 1838, and was there apprenticed to his father's business, in which he had to do with a good deal of machinery of all kinds, and had many facilities for acquiring a practical knowledge of mechanical engineering.

In 1868, while travelling in Spain, he thought that the application of Mr. Hodgson's wire-tramway system would be very valuable in such a country, with bad roads and few railways; and relinquishing his connection with the business at Coventry, he succeeded in making some contracts for the construction of wire tramways in Spain, which however were not carried out at the time, owing to the unsettled state of the country.

He then proceeded to Austria with the same object, and successfully erected at Pesth a line of wire tramway for conveying coal from the barges in the Danube to a store at the side of the river.

On a second visit to Austria early in 1870, for the purpose of carrying out further work of the same description, he was struck down by typhus fever at Vienna, and died there on the 19th April at the age of thirty-two.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1863.

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