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William Crosley (1819-1874)

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William Crosley (1819-1874)

1819 Born son of Richard Crosley.

1860 Presented a paper to Inst of Civil Engineers on "the measurement of gas and the classes of gas meter in general use", which pointed out the problems arising from use of the original type of gas meter developed by Mr Clegg and the late Samuel Crosley. These problems led to the passing of an Act of Parliament on gas metering.

1862 Most of the station gas meters used by the London gas companies were made by Mr Parkinson or by Mr Crosley[1]


1875 Obituary [2]

MR. WILLIAM CROSLEY, the only son of Mr. Richard Crosley the representative of an old Yorkshire family - was born on the 12th of January, 1819, at Burnley, Lancashire, and was educated at the Grammar School of that place.

He was brought up by his uncle, Mr. William Crosley, civil engineer; and in 1833, after a short term passed on the works of the Rochdale canal, began his professional career as an assistant to his uncle, who was engaged on the London and Birmingham railway under the late Mr. Robert Stephenson, M.P., Past-President Inst. C.E. Here he was employed until the completion of the works in 1838, the portion of the line executed under the elder Mr. Crosley’s direction including the Tring cutting and the Wolverton viaduct. Subsequently, he was occupied in Mr. Robert Stephenson’s private office, until he accepted an appointment on the Great Western railway under the late Mr. Brunel, Vice-President Inst. C.E., his duties extending over a district of 10 miles in length near Faringdon, Berkshire.

Mr. Crosley was then invited to join the business of Messrs. Samuel and John Crosley, gas engineers and gas-meter manufacturers, and he remained with them in London from 1841 to 1845.

Being disappointed in the fulfilment of the promises held out by his relatives, Mr. Crosley was thrown upon his own resources, and in 1846 accepted a position in Scotland under Messrs. Brassey, Mackenzie, and Stephenson, who were then constructing the Lancaster and Carlisle, the Caledonian, and the Scottish Central railways, besides other works.

He became, in 1849, the London representative of Messrs. Tayleur and Company, of the Vulcan and Bank Quay Foundries, Warrington, which position he held till 1855.

In 1856, having patented an improvement in wet gas-meters, whereby the proper water-level was maintained in the measuring chamber, and made several additions, with the object of preventing meters being fraudulently tampered with, he established a gas apparatus and meter manufactory in Southwark Bridge Road.

He promoted the Sale of Gas Acts of 1859 and 1860, whereby measures used in the sale of gas were stamped by Government inspectors. For this purpose he furnished some valuable statistics to the Parliamentary Committee appointed to inquire into the matter, and supplied the original cubic foot measure, transferrer, and gas-holders for the Exchequer Office. Many similar measures were also made for various corporate towns in England and Ireland.

In the early part of 1862 the business was disposed of to Messrs. Guest and Chrimes, of Rotherham.

In the same year Mr. Crosley was appointed by Messrs. Brassey and Ogilvie the Managing Agent to carry out the Moreton-Hampstead and South Devon railway, a branch 12.4 miles long, from the Newton Abbot station of the South Devon line. On its completion he was employed as Engineer in designing and carrying out the gas works at Moreton-Hampstead - this being his last engagement.

In 1869 his health began to fail, and after a protracted and painful illness his death occurred on the 28th of August, 1874.

Mr. Crosley was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 7th of May, 1850.

He married, in 1847, Rosa Ann, the second daughter of the late Mr. John Gandell, the London Representative of the Horseley Ironworks, near Birmingham.

Mr. Crosley possessed considerable practical skill in the execution of engineering work, and much ingenuity in mechanical construction; he was industrious and conscientious ii the fulfilment of his duties, and deservedly obtained the confidence of his employers.


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