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William Woodcock

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William Woodcock (1814-1874) of the London Warming and Ventilating Co

1875 Obituary [1]

MR. WILLIAN WOODCOCK was born in the year 1814, at Hinckley, Leicestershire, and was educated near his native town, where his father was a manufacturing hosier.

Upon leaving school he assisted in the business until his father’s death, after which he remained in partnership with his brother until the year 1848, when he came to London and turned his attention to brewing.

During the time he was so occupied, owing to the 'Smoke Nuisance' Act, his thoughts were directed to the question of the consumption of smoke, and to the best method of setting steam boilers. Subsequently he invented a method for effecting the former object in steam-boiler furnaces, and he devoted his whole energies for some years to matters connected therewith.

Whilst so engaged he was introduced to Mr. (afterwards Sir Goldsworthy) Gurney, and, in conjunction with him, brought out the Gurney stove.

Mr. Woodcock then became the Managing Director of the London Warming and Ventilating Company, a company which has proved in every way a success, and has supplied warming apparatus to the principal cathedrals in England, including St. Paul‘s.

In the year 1870 Mr. Woodcock made arrangements to purchase the business of the company from the shareholders, which at the time of his death, at Brixton on the 15th of August, 1674, he was still carrying on with the assistance of his eldest son.

Mr. Woodcock took out several patents connected with the subjects of warming and ventilation, including improvements in the original Gurney stove.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 9th of January, 1855. A Paper of his, entitled 'On the Means of Avoiding Visible Smoke from Boiler Furnaces,' was read before the Institution on the 14th of November, 1854. He also took a prominent part in a discussion on a subsequent Paper on Steam Boilers.

Mr. Woodcock was possessed of great energy and sound common sense. His integrity of character and unassuming manners, together with his thorough knowledge, both practical and theoretical, of the subjects to which he devoted a great part of his life, won for him the esteem and regard of all those with whom he had business relations. Of his private life, it is sufficient to say that it was a bright example for his children to follow, and that his memory will always be held in most affectionate regard by many friends.

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