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David Joy

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1857. Improvements in steam engines.
1896.

David Joy (1825–1903), engineer and inventor

1825 March 3rd. Born in Leeds the son of Edward Joy

Started an apprenticeship with Fenton, Murray and Jackson, locomotive builders.

1843 When this firm closed down in 1843 he transferred to the locomotive drawing office of the Railway Foundry works, Leeds, of Shepherd and Todd, where he became acting chief draughtsman

1847 David Joy, chief draughtsman of the successor company, E. B. Wilson and Co, spent three weeks studying John Gray's locomotive design at Brighton, and then produced a similar design.

1850 Joy became superintendent of the Ambergate, Nottingham and Boston, and Eastern Junction Railway

1853 Superintendent of the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway, both of which were operated under contract by E. B. Wilson and Co

1862 A civil engineer, of Manchester[1]

1874 Joy went to the Barrow Shipbuilding Co as manager of the water-tube boiler department, becoming secretary in 1876

1880 Read a paper on A New Reversing and Expansive Valve Gear in front of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. [2]

Many inventions and patents. See full article in Dictionary of National Biographies.


1903 Obituary [3]

DAVID JOY was born in Leeds on 3rd March 1825, being one of the five sons of Edward Joy of the Oil Mills, Leeds.

From his infancy he took the keenest interest in machinery of all kinds, and spent his leisure moments in making models of ships and engines.

When he was about sixteen he began to study mechanical drawing at Wesley College, Leeds, filling up his spare time with mastering thoroughly a copy of Tredgold on the Steam-Engine. Having completed his education, he entered his father's works in 1841, and learnt trade routine and the business of seed crushing and oil refining.

It soon became evident that the work was distasteful to him, and he was therefore apprenticed in the works of Messrs. Fenton, Murray, and Jackson, where he stayed until February 1843, when the works were closed.

In June of that year he entered the Railway Foundry Works, Leeds, of Messrs. Shepherd and Todd, as a drawing office apprentice, where his first job was to prepare the plans of a "John Gray" engine for a steam pressure of 90 lbs.

On Mr. E. B. Wilson taking over the Railway Foundry in 1814, Mr. Joy became manager of the drawing office, and it was in that capacity that he was so intimately associated with the designing of the "Jenny Lind" locomotive.

In 1850 he was appointed superintendent of the Nottingham and Grantham Railway, then just opened. No engines were ready for the work, so that considerable ingenuity was necessary to get the engines in time, in order to comply with the conditions.

His next appointment in 1853 was as the locomotive superintendent of the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway, where he remained until the line was sold in 1856, when he returned to the Railway Foundry, Leeds.

In 1855 he read a Paper before this Institution on a "Spiral Coil Piston Packing."

In 1857 he brought out a compound marine engine, in which a deep high-pressure piston acted as the distributing valve for the low-pressure cylinder. He also invented a steam reversing gear, and about this time he took out the first of three patents for hydraulic organ-blowers. The first on a large scale was fitted to the organ at the Leeds Town Hall, and they are also in use at the Crystal Palace.

In 1859 he accepted the position of manager of Mr. De Bergue's bridge-building yard in Manchester, and in the next year brought out a special form of steam hammer, for the manufacture of which he started in business for himself at the Cleveland Engine Works, Middlesbrough. For some years he was continuously engaged in inventing new machinery of various kinds.

In 1871 his works were closed because the ground was required for the extension of one of the large shipbuilding yards there. During this and the succeeding year he organized the first serious effort to utilize slag as a residual product. A form of blast was used for pulverising the slag, and one of the results was silicate cotton.

In 1874 he went to the Barrow Shipbuilding Co. as manager of the water-tube boiler department, the company having purchased the rights of the Howard boiler, and in June 1878 he also became secretary to the same company. During this period he worked out the details of his radial valve-gear, which was patented in 1879. It was taken up by the London and North Western Railway and by Messrs. Maudslay for marine work. Mr. Webb fitted a powerful six-coupled goods engine with it, and sent this engine to Barrow-in-Furness for the Summer Meeting of this Institution in that town in August 1880. On that occasion Mr. Joy read a Paper on the subject.

In the same year he went to London to act as the London agent of the Barrow Shipbuilding Co., but only continued in this capacity for a little more than a year, the work in connection with his several inventions demanding all his attention.

In 1882 he attended the meeting of the Master Mechanics' Association at Niagara, and there read a Paper on Mr. Webb's compound engine, and on his own valve-gear.

Returning to London he continued, in partnership with his sons, to develop his various inventions, and he read Papers on the valve-gear and assistant cylinder before a number of Societies. The success of the valve gear is attested by the fact that it is now applied to engines aggregating one million horse-power, and a considerable number of his assistant cylinders are also in use. The latter device is successfully working on a large number of ships in the British and Foreign navies, mercantile marine, on private steam yachts, and on stationary engines, representing a total of over one and a half million horse-power.

In 1894 he read a Paper before this Institution on a "Fluid-Pressure Reversing Gear for Locomotive Engines." He was a regular attendant at the meetings of this Institution, to which he occasionally contributed remarks on the Papers.

His death took place at his residence at Hampstead, London, from congestion of the lungs on 14th March 1903, at the age of seventy-eight.

He was a Member of this Institution from 1853 to 1867, and re-joined in 1880. He was a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects of England and also of America, and of other Societies.


1903 Obituary [4]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. National Probate Calendar entry for his father
  2. The Engineer 1880/08/13
  3. 1903 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  4. Engineering 1903 Jan-Jun: Index: General Index

Dictionary of National Biographies