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James Dredge

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1893.
Tomb in Kensal Green Cemetery. (Detail).

James Dredge (1840-1906), editor of Engineering

1840 Born the son of James Dredge, Senior


1906 Obituary [1]

JAMES DREDGE, C.M.G., was born at Bath on 29th July 1840, being the son of Mr. James Dredge, a civil engineer of that city.

He commenced his professional training at an early age, under his elder brother, the late Mr. William Dredge, who was established in London as a civil engineer.

In 1858 he entered the office of the late Mr. D. K. Clark, remaining with him until 1861. During this time his work included the preparation of some of the drawings illustrating Mr. Clark's book, "Recent Practice in Locomotive Engineering," a supplement to the latter's work on "Railway Machinery."

It was while engaged in this work that he made the acquaintance of the late Mr. Zerah Colburn, who was revisiting England to obtain information as to current railway practice in this country. The acquaintanceship thus commenced had a most important influence on Mr. Dredge's subsequent career, as it ultimately led to his connection with the journal "Engineering."

In 1862 He entered the office of Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Fowler, where he remained some time. Amongst other work there he was engaged on drawings connected with the construction of the Metropolitan District Railway.

Mr. Zerah Colburn was for some years the editor of "The Engineer," and on his resignation of that editorship in 1861, he determined to start a journal of his own. The result was that the first number of "Engineering" was published in January 1866.

Prior to this he had arranged with Mr. William H. Maw, whom he had known for some years, to join him as sub-editor of the new paper, while Mr. Dredge took charge of matters connected with illustrations.

This arrangement continued until the death of Mr. Colburn in 1870, when Mr. Dredge joined Mr. Maw as co-editor, and he continued to take a most active part in the management of the affairs of the paper until he was stricken with an attack of paralysis in May 1903.

Contemporaneously with his editorial work, Mr. Dredge took for over thirty years a very keen interest in International Exhibitions. In addition to his work for "Engineering" in connection with the Vienna Exhibition of 1873, the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia of 1876, and the Paris Exhibitions of 1878 and of 1889, he was a member of the Royal British Commission for the Chicago Exhibition of 1893, was similarly officially connected with the Antwerp Exhibition of 1891, was Commissioner-General for Great Britain for the Brussels Exhibition of 1897, and was one of the Vice-Presidents of the British Commission for the Milan Exhibition of 1906.

For his work in connection with the Paris Exhibition of 1889 he was appointed an Officer of the Legion of Honour, and for his services with respect to the Brussels Exhibition he was made a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. He made several visits to the United States, where he was well known and had numerous friends. The first of these visits took place early in 1868.

The next was in 1876, in connection with the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia, when he collected materials for a series of articles on the Pennsylvania Railroad, subsequently published in book form.

In 1890 he visited New York to deliver an address on the unveiling of a statue erected to the memory of his old friend, Alexander Holley. He never fully recovered from the paralytic attack of three years ago, and spent the greater part of his time in the south of Europe or at his home at Titchfield, Hampshire.

His death took place at Pinner, on 15th August 1906, at the ago of sixty-six.

He was elected a Member of this Institution in 1874, and of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1896. In 1886 he was elected an Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and he for some time served on the Council of the Society of Arts.


1906 Obituary [2]

Mr. James Dredge was born at Bath on July 29th, 1840. His father, himself an engineer of no mean fame, will always be remembered for his skill in bridge design.

Considerably before he was eighteen years old young Mr Dredge joined his brother, Mr William Dredge, who was at the time practising as a civil engineer. . . . Mr. Dredge's connection with Engineering dates practically from its commencement in January, 1866. . . . . [More]


1906 Obituary [3]

JAMES DREDGE, C.M.G., born at Bath on the 29th July, 1840, was the son of James Dredge, of that city, an engineer well known as the designer of a form of suspension bridge with inclined suspension rods carrying the roadway; a type of which a number of examples were erected in different parts of the country. The subject of this notice commenced his professional training at an early age under his elder brother, the late Mr. William Dredge, who was established in London as a civil engineer.

In 1858 he entered the office of the late Mr. D. K. Clark, remaining with him until the year 1861, and during this period he made the acquaintance of the late Zerah Colburn, at that time editor of The Engineer.

In 1862 Mr. Dredge entered the office of Mr. (afterwards Sir John} Fowler, by whom he was employed for some years on work connected with the construction of the Metropolitan District Railway.

In 1865 Mr. Colburn, having resigned the editorship of The Engineer, decided to establish a journal of his own, with the result that the first number of Engineering was published in January, 1866. Mr. W. H. Maw became sub-editor of the new paper, while Mr. Dredge took charge of matters connected with illustrations and also occasionally contributed editorial matter.

Early in 1870, upon the death of Mr. Colburn, Mr. Dredge joined Mr. Maw as co-editor, and he continued to take a very active part in the management of the affairs of the paper until he was stricken with an attack of paralysis in May, 1903.

Contemporaneously with his editorial work, Mr. Dredge for more than 30 years took an exceedingly keen interest in international exhibitions. In addition to his work for Engineering in connection with the Vienna Exhibition of 1873, the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia of 1876, and the Paris Exhibitions of 1878 and of 1889, he was a member of the Royal British Commission for the Chicago Exhibition of 1893, was officially connected with the Antwerp Exhibition of 1894, served as Commissioner-General for Great Britain for the Brussels Exhibition of 1897, and was one of the Vice-Presidents of the British Commission for the Milan Exhibition of 1906. For his work in connection with the Paris Exhibition of 1889 he was appointed an Officer of the Legion of Honour, and for his services with respect to the Brussels Exhibition he was made a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.

Mr. Dredge made several visits to the United States, where he was well known and had numerous valued friends. The first of these visits took place early in 1868, when he wrote accounts of several American works for his journal. The next was in 1876, in connection with the Centennial Exhibition of that year, when he also collected materials for a series of articles on the Pennsylvania Railroad, subsequently published in book form. In 1890 he visited New York to deliver an address on the unveiling of a statue erected to the memory of his old friend Alexander Holley. At the special request of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, he also contributed a memoir of the late Sir Henry Bessemer, which was presented at the Niagara Falls meeting of June, 1898.

Mr. Dredge was a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and for some time served on the Council of the Society of Arts. He was also, in May, 1886, elected an honorary member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Mr. Dredge never fully recovered from the paralytic attack of 3 years ago, to which reference has been already made, but he continued to devote considerable time to the editing of Traction and Transmission, a publication of which he was the originator and in which he took the keenest interest, until its discontinuance in 1904. During the past 3 years he spent the greater part of his time in the south of Europe or at his home at Titchfield, in Hampshire. A few weeks before his death he returned from San Remo, where he had resided during the winter, and went to Pinner, where he died on the 15th August, 1906, aged 66.

His long connection with the technical press and the prominent position which he occupied enabled him to render valuable aid in the advancement of mechanical science during the last 40 years, and his death was widely and deeply regretted in engineering circles, where he was well known and esteemed for his ability and sterling personal qualities.

Mr. Dredge was elected a Member of this Institution on the 4th February, 1896.


1906 Obituary [4]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1906 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  2. The Engineer 1906/08/24
  3. 1906 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
  4. Engineering 1906 Jul-Dec: Index: General Index