Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 144,279 pages of information and 230,174 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Alphonse Couvreux

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Alphonse Couvreux (1820-1890) was a French civil engineer.

Patented a steam-driven bucket-chain excavator. Several examples were ordered in 1863 for the construction of the Suez Canal. A 1/5 scale model, made by Digeon c.1878, is on display at the Musée des Arts et Métiers.

1868 Couvreux's newly-invented bucket for dredgers and excavators was illustrated in the Practical Mechanic's Journal, 1 March 1868. The quadrant-shaped buckets included a moving back plate which discharged adherent substances such as clay. The moving parts of the bucket chains had improved arrangements for lubricating the pins, and for excluding dust using rubber seals.

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