Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Henry Davey

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1868. Isochronal governor.
1890. Design for a Great Tower for London, height 1250 ft.

Henry Davey (1843-1928) of Hathorn, Davey and Co[1]

1843 Born.

Educated in Tavistock.

Draughtsman at Fox, Walker and Co; locomotive builders in Bristol.

1869 Henry Davey of 20 John Street, Adelphi.[2]

1872 Davey described his differential pumping engine to the Society of Engineers.

Abels of Derby asked Davey to join them, but he declined, and they consequently set up a Works in Leeds for him. The differential pumping engine was such a success that more capital was needed to expand and that was provided by Colonel Hathorn, Davey's lifelong friend.[3]

Davey's differential pumping engine, erected in Sudbury.

1873 Member of I Mech E; manager of Hathorn, Davis and Campbell, successor to Carrett, Marshall and Co, Sun Foundry, Leeds[4]

1880 Engineer of the Sun Foundry in Leeds[5] stood for election to the Iron and Steel Institute

1887. Returned to London as a consulting engineer. [6] 3 Princes Street, Westminster, London. [7]

1890 Henry Davey submitted a design for a Great Tower for London. [8]

1928 Died.

1928 Obituary [9]

HENRY DAVEY, who was a Member of Council of the Institution as long ago as 1896 and a Vice-President from 1908 to 1921, died on 11th April 1928, at the age of 85.

He was born at Tavistock and was influenced at an early age by the wonderful development of the steam-engine which had taken place in the mines of Cornwall and Devon. He was apprenticed to a firm of engineers of Tavistock and afterwards commenced to make agricultural implements.

He gave this work up, however, and became a draughtsman at Messrs. Fox, Walker and Company of Bristol, who built some locomotives for the Great Western Railway.

A few years later he took up consulting work in London. Meanwhile Mr. Davey had invented his differential pumping engine, which eventually achieved such great success, and he was commissioned at this time to install pumping plant at Milford Haven. The success of this was such that he was eventually enabled to found the firm of Hathorn, Davey and Company of the Sun Foundry, Leeds, where the pumping engine was rapidly developed.

In 1887 he returned to London to resume practice as a consulting engineer and amongst his productions was the enormous compound Cornish engine, probably the largest ever built, for the Waihi Gold Mining Company of New Zealand.

In 1908 Mr. Davey retired, but he retained until his death his intense love of mechanical things. Besides the differential pumping engine, he made many other inventions, most of which originated in his own private workshop, where he exercised his skill as a craftsman and mechanician.

In 1903 he contributed a Paper to the Institution on "The Newcomen Engine."

He was elected a Member in 1873 and had been a Past Vice-President since 1921.

Mr. Davey was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

1928 Obituary [10]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1928/04/20
  2. The Engineer 1869/01/01
  3. The Engineer 1928/04/20
  4. Mechanical Engineer Records
  5. The Engineer 1880/08/13
  6. The Engineer 1928/04/20
  7. The Engineer 1888/10/12
  8. The Engineer 1890/05/23 page 427.
  9. 1928 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  10. The Engineer 1928/04/20.