Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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George Bower

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Steam engine by G Bower c.1880 - 1900, exhibited at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
Steam engine by G Bower c.1880 - 1900, exhibited at the Powerhouse Museum
1871. Gas exhauster and exhaust house.
1871. Steam pump.

George Bower (1827-1911), Vulcan Iron Works, St. Neots.

Made gas stoves and stationary steam engines.

1827 April 14th. Born at Caistor the son of Anthony Bower and his wife Mary Kirk

1850 Married at Higham Ferrers to Sarah Spencer

1856 'Combined Gas Apparatus' designed and produced by George Bower. He established the 'Provincial Gaslight and Coke Company' which established small gas works in a number of towns.[1]

1862 George Bower's Bye-Pass Valves and Governor for Gas Works described and illustrated in The Practical Mechanic's Journal[2]

1881 Living at The Shrubbery, St. Neots: George Bower (age 54 born Caistor), Waterworks Engineer and Contractor employing 70 men and six boys. With his wife Sarah Bower (age 53 born Higham Ferrers) and their two sons Anthony S. Bower (age 29 born St. Neots), Civil and Mechanical Engineer; and Arthur K. Bower (age 27 born St. Neots), Assistant Engineer to his father. Also his two nieces; Martha Bower (age 25 born Caistor) and Mary Bower (age 22 born Caistor). Also his three grand-children; Herbert L. E. Ewen (age 4 born Offord Dancy); Cecil L. E. Ewen (age 3 born Offord Dancy); Margaret G. M. Ewen (age 2 born Offord Dancy). Five servants.[3]

1887 Bankruptcy Hearing. 'Re GEORGE BOWER, ST. NEOTS.....Two or three years prior to 1876 he contracted to light the city of Buenos Ayres with gas for nearly £200,000. but incurred great loss. The St. John's Gas Company at Porto Rico was started about ten years ago, the capital being £30,000, made up of £16,000 in debentures and £14,000 in shares, and the secretary issued circular the shareholders asking them to accept preference stock in payment of the debenture interest He could not recollect that he had been paying any of the interest out of his own money instead of out the assets of the Company. He had since 1876 sold the Bower-Barff patent to various companies, at home and abroad, for £114,700, including the amount that he had to take in shares The remainder of the examination mostly had reference to the debtors personal expenditure, which had been put down at £1,800 per annum. He did not keep three gardeners, but one and two labourers; also had four servants in the house. He paid £80 or £90 a year to Col. Duncan for some shooting, and that considered was for the benefit of his creditors, it was for the good of his health For a short time the education of his family cost him £800 a year. One of his sons held a scholarship at New College. He was connected with the East and West Ayr Railway in America, and very likely gave some of the bonds to his creditor, but he did not know at the time they were worthless, they were expected to be very valuable. He had very little to do with this Company. About seven years ago bought a library for £400, but re-sold it for the same amount in the spring of last year. With regard the St. John’s Gas Works, certain extensions absorbed most of the dividends, but the shareholders themselves unanimously agreed take preference shares to the amount of £4,000 or £5,000 in lieu of cash. The examination was adjourned Wednesday, April 13. order to give the debtor an opportunity of furnishing certain information which on this occasion be was not in a position to give.'[4]

1901 Living at Church Street, St. Neots, Hunts: George Bower (age 74 born Caistor), Gas and Water Work Engineer and Contractor, Employer. With his wife Sarah Bower (age 73 born Higham Ferrers) and their son Anthony S. Bower (age 49 born St. Neots), Civil Engineer of Glasgow University, Three servants.[5]

1911 Living at The Shubbery, St Neots, Hunts: George Bower (age 84 born Carlton Le Moorland, Lincs.), Gas and Water Work Engineers Contractor Retired.daughter Sarah Bower (age 83 born Highham Ferrers) and their Grace Mary Bower (age 41 born St. Neots). Two servants.[6]

1911 November 29th. Died

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Practical Mechanic's Journal, November 1856, pp.253-4
  2. [1] The Practical Mechanic's Journal, 1 July 1862, p.93 and Plate 289
  3. 1881 Census
  4. Bedfordshire Times and Independent - Saturday 09 April 1887
  5. 1901 Census
  6. 1911 Census