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British Industrial History

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Edward Cottam

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Edward Cottam (1816-1904) of Robinson and Cottam

1839 of Winsley Street, Oxford Street, studying to be a civil engineer, joined the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]

1859 Edward Cottam of Pimlico, became an associate member of the Inst Civil Engineers[2]



1905 Obituary [3]

EDWARD COTTAM died at Hanwell, Middlesex, on the 17th July, 1904, in his eighty-eighth year.

The son of the late George Cottam, a former Associate, he was born on the 18th October, 1816, 2 years before the foundation of the Institution, which he joined as a Graduate in 1839.

He was educated at the London High School and the Athenee, Bruges, and studied at the Royal Institution under Faraday, of whom he was an enthusiastic admirer.

In 1833 he became a pupil to his father, whom he subsequently assisted in his business until 1852, when he entered into partnership with Mr. F. Robinson, as successors to Bramah, adding to the old business the founding of statues. The statues of the Duke of Wellington at Manchester, of George Stephenson at Newcastle, of Sir Isaac Newton at Grantham, and many others, were cast at the firm’s Pimlico Works upon an improved process introduced by Mr. Cottam.

On the removal of the foundry to Battersea, where the cylinders for the piers of the Albert Bridge were cast, the firm was formed into a limited company, and undertook the manufacture of horseshoes by machinery of Mr. Cottam’s design. Mr. Cottam served as Managing Director of the company until ita liquidation in 1875, when he retired from the active pursuit of business, only acting occasionally in a consultative capacity.

Mr. Cottam was the inventor of a breech-loading rifle, and of an intercepting trap for house-drainage. He also made improvements in the hydrostatic press and the cotton-packing press, and perfected the Vandenbrough volley gun, an early form of the mitrailleuse.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 6th December, 1859.


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