Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 136,279 pages of information and 218,973 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Joseph Davis (1839-1893)
of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, Engineer's Office, Manchester.
1893 Obituary 
JOSEPH DAVIS was born in Manchester on 20th January 1839.
In 1853 he was apprenticed to Messrs. Dunn, Hattersley and Co., Pendleton, and remained with them until the death of the surviving partner, Mr. Dunn, in 1869.
He was next employed as chief draughtsman by Messrs. Wren and Hopkinson, Manchester, for whom he directed the introduction of mechanical appliances for working the heavy traffic at the Oldham Road goods station, Manchester, of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, by means of iron capstans driven through shafting laid in iron troughs below the ground.
Shortly afterwards he entered the service of the railway company, in charge of the bridges and machinery department under the late Mr. Sturges Meek. His first work was the goods station, Salford; and under his direction mechanical poorer rapidly replaced manual and home labour throughout the goods yards and warehouses of that railway.
In 1880-81 he was sent to the United States to enquire into the American system of discharging grain cargoes in bulk; the result of this journey was the construction under his direction in 1881-83 of the great grain elevator at Fleetwood, the first erected in this country on the American plan, whereby ships arriving can have their cargoes of loose grain discharged either into warehouses or weighed and delivered into carts and wagons, the whole process being done by machinery.
The construction of the carriage and wagon works at Newton Heath was carried out under his charge; as was also the structural ironwork required in the extension of the railway, and the renewal and maintenance of the bridges and iron roofs of the old lines.
His death took place at Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Manchester, on 15th November 1893, in the fifty-fifth year of his age.
He became a Graduate of this Institution in 1876, and a Member in 1889.