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John Carter Park

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John Carter Park (1822-1896)

Buried in Hampstead Cemetery.

1897 Obituary [1]

JOHN CARTER PARK, born in Aberdeen on the 2nd January, 1822, was the eldest son of the late Mr. Charles Park, who ten years later took his family to Leghorn and started in business there as a mechanical engineer.

The revolution of 1848, which resulted in the independence of Italy, forced Mr. Park to close his works, and in 1851 he settled at Genoa. It was then arranged that the subject of this notice should complete his apprenticeship at the large works at Sanpierdarena which were being erected by the Italian Government under the direction of the late Mr. Philip Taylor, inspector of the important marine-engine works at Marseilles. On the expiration of his pupilage young Park went to sea as an engineer.

In 1853 he obtained the post of assistant locomotive superintendent of the Lucca, Pisa, and Pistoja Railway in Central Italy, which, however, he resigned in the following year to enter the Sardinian Navy, in order to serve in the Crimean War.

On the declaration of peace he obtained his discharge and came to England with the intention of gaining experience in the works of Messrs. Sharp, Stewart & Company at Manchester before returning to Italy.

An offer from Mr. John Ramsbottom, then locomotive engineer of the London and North-Western Railway, to take him into the Company’s shops at Longsight, induced him to remain in England.

Mr. Park was at Longsight until 1859, when he was appointed locomotive superintendent of the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway in Canada. That post he held until the line was taken over by the Grand Trunk Railway Company in 1864, when, his services being no longer required, he returned to England.

In the following year he became Locomotive Works Manager of the Great Southern and Western Railway of Ireland, at Inchicore, where he remained until 1873, when he succeeded Mr. William Adams as Locomotive Superintendent of the North London Railway. Mr. Park carried out the duties of that post for nearly twenty years, and it was only due to ill-health that he was compelled to retire in 1893.

He sought rest and change at Bournemouth, and for a time appeared to derive benefit from the climate of that place, but it was not lasting. His health was broken and he gradually sank, dying at Bournemouth on the 28th October, 1896, in his sixty-fifth year.

Mr. Park was an able engineer and possessed a thoroughly practical knowledge of locomotive and marine-engine work. His uniform kindness and consideration to those employed under him caused him to be generally esteemed, a feeling which found expression in a presentation from the staff of the North London Railway Company on his retirement from that service.

Mr. Park was elected a Member on the 6th February, 1877.

In 1889 he presented to the Institution an account of the balanced slide-valves which had been from time to time experimented with on the locomotives in use on the North London Railway.

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