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George Douglas Hughes

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George Douglas Hughes (1823-1906)

1906 Obituary [1]

GEORGE DOUGLAS HUGHES was born in Nottingham on 13th December 1823.

His education was received in his native town and in Manchester, and was supplemented by an advanced training in mathematics and mechanical drawing.

Having early shown a liking for engineering, he was apprenticed in 1839 to the firm of Messrs. J. and G. Peel, Soho Works, Manchester. On the completion of his apprenticeship in 1843 he continued in their service in the engineering department, and was engaged in the manufacture of large factory engines.

In 1847 he removed to Belfast to take charge of the engineering and foundry works of Messrs. Rowen and Sons, with whom he remained until the following year when he was invited to take charge of the locomotive department of the Belfast and Ballymena Railway, just then approaching completion.

Subsequently he returned to Manchester, and entered the works of Sir William Fairbairn and Sons, in the locomotive and engine department.

About this time - 1851 - an association was being formed for the inspection of steam-boilers and engines, under the directorship of Sir William Fairbairn and others, and he was appointed second engineer under Mr. R. B. Longridge.

Two years later he returned to Nottingham, joining the firm of Messrs. W. Benson and Son, engineers, tool-makers, and millwrights.

The partnership having been dissolved shortly afterwards, he commenced business on his own account, erecting new premises, namely, the Queen's Foundry and Engineering Works, in the London Road, Nottingham.

Having been brought into business relations with the late Mr. Thomas Hawksley, engineer for the gas and water companies of Nottingham, and his chief engineer, Mr. M. Loam, he secured orders for the tools, machinery, &c., as well as for repairs to the engines.

On these companies being transferred to the Corporation of Nottingham, Mr. Hughes still continued this work for several years, securing at the same time the construction of the foundry work for the Nottingham Corporation sewers, &c.

Amongst other work that he carried out may be mentioned that of the installation of the engine, boiler, and machinery for the "Journal" newspaper offices, and engine, gearing, &c., for driving the machinery of the linotype department of the "Nottingham Daily Express."

In 1868 he supplied horizontal pumping-engines for the town of Newark, and three years later he furnished similar machinery for Ilkeston.

In addition to his own works he represented for forty years the Manchester Boiler Insurance Co. (now called the Vulcan Boiler and General Insurance Co.), having supervision of about 400 boilers and engines in the counties of Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, and Lincoln.

In 1898 he retired, after fifty-five years' business experience in the engineering profession.

In 1870 he contributed to this Institution a Paper on a "Self-acting Safety and Fire-extinguishing Valve for Steam-Boilers," and occasionally took part in the discussions and Summer Meetings.

His death took place, after a long illness, at his residence at Nottingham, on 24th June 1906, in his eighty-third year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1867

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