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British Industrial History

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Benjamin Howarth Thwaite

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Benjamin Howarth Thwaite (c1858-1908)

c1858 Born at Brighouse, Yorkshire.

c1880 Married Emily Lydia Barton

1885 Thwaite's address: 37 Victoria Street, Liverpool.

1894 Working at the Glasgow Iron and Steel Works, B. H. Thwaite discovered that waste gas from blast furnaces could be cleaned and burnt very successfully, despite its low energy content.[1]

1901 Living at The Limes, Runnymeade Street, Egham: Benjamin H. Thwaite (age 43 born Brighouse), Civil Engineer. With his wife Emily L. Thwaite (age 43 born Shipley) and their children; Carl B. Thwaite (age 19 born Bolton), Student of Engineering; Ruby Thwaite (age 7 born Brockley, Surrey); and Eric Thwaite (age 1 born Egham). One servant. [2]

1908 May 2nd. Died at Windsor


1908 Obituary [3]

The death is also announced of BENJAMIN HOWARD THWAITE, who, although not a member, contributed to the proceedings papers on the metallurgic department of the Sheffield Technical School (1891), on fuel and its efficiency (1892), on the profitable utilisation of power from blast-furnace gases (1901), on the effect of flue dust upon the thermal efficiency of hot-blast stoves (1903), on the use of steel in American lofty building construction (1904), on accidents due to the asphyxiation of blast-furnace workmen (1905), and on the economic distribution of electric power from blast-furnaces (1907). He was one of the pioneers in the utilisation of blast-furnace waste gases as motive power, his patent (No. 8670) having been taken out in May 1894. A 30-horse-power gas-engine designed in accordance with this patent was started in Scotland by Mr. James Riley in February 1895.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 'A Short History of Large Gas Engines' by Bryan Lawton, presented at a Newcomen Society conference at MoSI, 14-17 April 2011, citing Thwaite's article 'The Blast Furnace as a Centre of Power Production' in Cassier's Magazine XXXIII pp.23-40
  2. 1901 Census
  3. 1908 Iron and Steel Institute: Obituaries