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Archibald Thomas Sturgess

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Archibald Thomas Sturgess (1857-1906)

1906 Obituary [1]

ARCHIBALD THOMAS STURGESS was born at Bedale, Yorkshire, on 25th April 1857.

He was educated at a private school at Tunbridge Wells, from 1867 to 1870, and then went to Mannedorf, Lake Zurich, for two years, returning to Tunbridge Grammar School in 1872.

On leaving school in 1875 he acted as secretary to his father in the estate office of the Earl of Ancaster at Empingham, Rutland, during which period he was trained in surveying and levelling.

In 1878 be went to Penshurst Park, Kent, and was engaged in the preparation of plans for cottages on the estate. Having a liking for mechanical engineering, he erected and equipped a private workshop, and in this pursuit he received encouragement from the late Mr. James Nasmyth, who was a friend of his father's.

In 1879 he went as a pupil to the late Mr. J. H. Hutchinson, civil engineer and contractor, at Nicosia, Cyprus, where he assisted in carrying out several largo contracts, the most notable being the construction of a large military barracks, afterwards used as government offices in Nicosia.

In 1883 he started on his own account as engineer and contractor in Larnaca, Cyprus, where amongst other work he designed and erected the offices and staff quarters of the Eastern Telegraph Co.

In 1886 he returned to London, and in the following year went to Madrid, becoming a partner in the firm of Messrs. Parsons, Graepel and Sturgess, machinery merchants, and taking charge of the technical department.

In 1891, on its dissolution, he joined with Mr. W. Foley as senior partner in the firm of Messrs. Sturgess and Foley. He devoted a great portion of his time to designing and carrying out electrical installations in Madrid, Cartagena, Burgos, Rio Tinto, and many small towns.

In 1895 the firm undertook, under his direct supervision, an important irrigation work near Toledo. For leading the joints of the piping, he invented a pot for melting the lead which was carried along the top of the pipe by light rails and at each joint running off the necessary amount of lead, the pot being then filled up with the amount of lead for another joint. This apparatus was very successful and proved most economical.

In the year 1900 the firm undertook a contract for the Pure Salt Co., near Saragossa, for supplying and erecting the milling and other machinery, and for all their buildings and offices, and he personally superintended the carrying out of the work.

During 1904 and 1905 the firm undertook another large irrigation contract, which necessitated the making of a canal of about two miles in length with all its requisites in the way of pumping plant.

His death took place at his residence in Madrid on the 11th February 1906, in his forty-ninth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1903.

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