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British Industrial History

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Gustav Valentine Alsing

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Gustav Valentine Alsing ( -1896)

1897 Obituary [1]

GUSTAV VALENTINE ALSING was a Dane by birth, but became a naturalized Englishman and resided many years in this country.

After serving a pupilage with Messrs. Berg Brothers, of Copenhagen, he in 1856 became associated with Messrs. Peto, Brassey and Betts, who were at that time constructing the Schleswig Railway.

On the completion of Messrs. Peto’s contract in 1858, Mr. Alsing went to Brazil as District Engineer on the Minas Railway, and subsequently built a mineral line for the Brazilian Government.

On account of ill-health he was obliged to return to Europe in 1862, when he rejoined the staff of Messrs. Peto, Brassey and Betts, and was employed on the contract for the Holstein Railway from Neumunster to Eutin.

In 1866 he obtained an appointment in the Engineer’s Department of the Caledonian Railway, under Mr. George Graham.

Towards the year 1871 Mr. Alsing turned his attention to sanitary engineering, a branch of the profession to which he afterwards exclusively devoted himself. He was first engaged by the Peat Engineering and Sewage Filtration Company, as engineer for its works at Horwich, and for the Bradford Sewage Works, for which the Company acted as contractors.

The peat system was not a success, and in 1874 the Bradford Corporation engaged Mr. Alsing to reconstruct its works on a system of intermittent precipitation and filtration, of which he was practically the inventor. The result was so satisfactory that Mr. Alsing was asked in 1883 to superintend the construction of similar works at Sheffield.

Having designed and carried out the whole of the works at Blackburn Meadows, he was appointed engineer of the Sewage and Rivers Department of the Borough of Sheffield.

Mr. Alsing resigned in November, 1891, on the Town Council deciding to make this department subordinate to the Highways Committee and Borough Surveyor.

He afterwards entered the service of the Glasgow Corporation, and the Sewage Works at Dalmarnock were erected from his design and under his superintendence. In these works Mr. Alsing introduced important improvements in the manner of treating sewage, and on the completion of the contract his services were retained as Consulting Engineer, a position he held until his death from heart disease on the 9th October, 1896.

He was elected an Associate Member on the 2nd February, 1886.

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