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Edward Reynolds

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Edward Reynolds (1825-1895)

1862 Edward Reynolds, Engineer, 34 Great George Street, Westminster.[1]


1895 Obituary [2]

EDWARD REYNOLDS was born in London on 7th October 1825.

His boyhood was spent in Herefordshire, where he went to school; and he completed his education at King's College, London.

In 1844 he was apprenticed to Messrs. Adams and Co., engineers and carriage builders, Old Ford, London, and remained there for two years. During this period he had the opportunity of becoming acquainted with early experiments on Henson's flying machines, with which the firm were concerned.

In 1846 he became chief draughtsman in the locomotive department of the Eastern Counties Railway, where he remained till 1850; and he was instrumental in the alteration of the locomotives from the then 5 feet 9 inches gauge, having bar frames, to the 4 feet 8.5ins inches gauge, which necessitated the substitution of slab frames.

From 1850 to 1852 he was draughtsman and manager of Mr. Thomas Kennard's office, Adelphi, London, where he was largely engaged in designing Warren girder bridges and bridges generally.

From 1852 to 1860 lie was chief engineer to the Butterley Iron Co., near Alfreton, and during this period he remodelled a large portion of their machinery, some of which was antiquated; several of the engines and locomotives he designed are still at work there.

In 1860 he joined Mr. (now Sir Frederick) Bramwell in partnership, which continued until early in 1863, when he became engineer to Messrs. Naylor, Vickers and Co., Millsands, Sheffield, and was engaged in the construction of their River Don Works.

In 1872 he became a managing director, and continued in this position for the rest of his life. Among the more noticeable machines designed by him at these works are the large forging presses, the construction of which was commenced in 1882; they have a long-stroke ram, bearing against the spherical end of an inverted T shaped cross-head, which works between guides and carries the forging face. Before the actual pressing the slack is taken up by water at a lower pressure; this plan he had adopted some time before for general hydraulic work, possessing as it does the advantage that smaller pumping engines can be employed.

In 1894 he became a director of the Elmore Copper and Wire Companies, and took an active interest in their management and in the technicalities of their manufacture.

During the latter part of 1894 his health had been failing, and a chill contracted at the beginning of the present year hastened his death, which took place at Sheffield on 12th January 1895, in his seventieth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1862, and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Naval Architects, and other kindred societies.


1895 Obituary [3]

EDWARD REYNOLDS, born in London on the 7th of October 1825, was the son of the late Mr. William James Reynolds. Most of his boyhood was spent in Herefordshire at school. At an early age his aptitude for mechanics was remarkable; out of fragments of toys he put together - long before he had seen a steam-engine, and solely with the aid of rude diagrams in a book for boys - a small model of a section of a beam-engine, the movable parts of which were properly adjusted.

About the year 1839 he was sent to King’s College, London, where he became a student in the engineering department.

He was apprenticed in February, 1844, to the late William Bridges Adams, of the Fairfield Works, Bow, with whom he remained for two years.

He was then employed from 1846 to 1850 as Chief Draughtsman in the Locomotive Department of the Eastern Counties Railway. During that time slab frames were substituted in the locomotives for the old bar frames, a change rendered necessary by the alteration of gauge from 5 feet to 4 feet 8.5 inches.

From 1850 to 1852 Mr. Reynolds was engaged in designing Warren-girder bridges and bridges generally.

He was then appointed Chief Engineer to the Butterley Iron Company, at whose works he remained for eight years. During that period he remodelled a large portion of the plant, several of the engines and locomotives designed by him for the Company being still at work.

In September, 1860, he entered into partnership with Mr. (now Sir Frederick) Bramwell, a connection which lasted until the early part of 1863. Daring that time he acted as Consulting Engineer to the Butterley Iron Company.

Mr. Reynolds then became engineer to Naylor, Vickers and Co of Millsands, Sheffield, and was engaged in the construction of the River Don Works.

In 1872, nine years later, be was appointed a managing director of the Company, which had become Vickers, Sons and Co, and retained that position until his death. Among the more noticeable plants designed by Mr. Reynolds at those works are the large forging-presses, the construction of which was commenced in 1882. He then introduced the long stroke type of forging-press, the ram working on the spherical end of a guided inverted T-shaped cross-head carrying the forging face; the slack before the actual pressing being taken up by water from a source at a lower pressure. This system, which he had adopted some time before for general hydraulic work, possessed the advantage that smaller pumping engines might be employed. Mr. Reynolds was a man of retiring disposition, who generally disliked taking part in public matters.

In 1894 he joined the boards of the Elmore Copper and Wire Companies and took an active interest in their management and in the technicalities of their manufacture. During his long engineering life he had the good fortune to be concerned in or to see the beginning of many manufactures and inventions, a notable instance being the experiment made by Captain Blakely, R.A., at the Butterley Iron Works in connection with the system of reinforcing guns with hoops in initial tension.

Mr. Reynolds' memory was remarkably good, and his extensive and minute knowledge, great originality, insight, and largeness of view in business relations, were the secret of his success. Ia addition, his self-reliance and unfaltering moral courage contributed much to his influence on men individually and collectively. For some time previous to his death Mr. Reynolds' colleagues and others had noticed signs of failing health, these symptoms rapidly developing during the latter part of 1894.

Although he suffered for some months from cardiac asthma he remained actively at work until the 5th of January, when a chill he had contracted hastened his end, which took place on the 12th of January, 1895. Mr. Reynolds was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Naval Architects, the Society of Arts, the Society of Engineers, and the North East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders. He was elected a Member of this Institution on the 5th of February, 1889.



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1862 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  2. 1895 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  3. 1895 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries