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British Industrial History

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Horatio Sandford

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Horatio Sandford (c1857-1934) of E. A. and H. Sandford

1934 Obituary [1]

HORATIO SANDFORD was for the greater part of his life actively concerned with the development and management of the general engineering works in which he and an elder brother were partners. The business was founded in 1877 under the style of Messrs. E. A. and H. Sandford, the premises being known as the Thames Iron Works, Gravesend.

Mr. Sandford was himself a native of Gravesend. He was apprenticed in 1870 to Mr. W. Tredgold at the Canal Iron Works, Gravesend, and from 1873 to 1876 he served at the Blackwall Iron Works of Messrs. John Stewart and Son.

He then joined Messrs. J. Readhead and Sons, shipbuilders, of South Shields, as engineer draughtsman, and brought out a design for a steam turbine, which, however, he afterwards abandoned owing to the difficulties which attended the disposal of the exhaust. Subsequently he went to sea for six months as an engineer, after which he joined his brother in partnership.

In 1896 he patented a water-tube boiler, the special feature of which was the simplicity with which either individual tubes or the entire tube battery could be removed or replaced. His other patents included bearings for propeller shafts, which were adjustable while the shaft was in motion, and special steam and water valves, while he also designed a false bottom for dredgers, and was responsible for several improvements in machinery for cement and chemical works.

Early in the present century he became a member of the technical subcommittee appointed by the Corporation of Gravesend in connexion with the initiation of the borough electricity supply. His works were employed on munition and marine work during the War, and he himself acted as an advisory member of the Kent Munitions Tribunal.

In 1920, Mr. Sandford retired, following the sale of the business to another firm, and became chairman of the Northfleet and Greenhithe Gas Company.

His death occurred on 12th June 1934 in his seventy-eighth year.

He had been a Member of the Institution for forty-eight years, having been elected in 1886.

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