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Jean Baptiste Louis Felix Marc Berrier-Fontaine

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Jean Baptiste Louis Felix Marc Berrier-Fontaine (1838-1908)

1909 Obituary [1]

JEAN BAPTISTE LOUIS FELIX MARC BERRIER-FONTAINE, late Directeur des Constructions Navales at Toulon, died on November 23, 1908.

He was born in 1838, and completed his studies first at the Ecole Polytechnique, from 1858 to 1860; then from October 1860 to August 1862, at the Ecole d'Application du Genie Maritime, with periods of practical training at Cherbourg and Toulon Arsenals.

In 1864 he was appointed Assistant Naval Constructor and Engineer at Saigon Dockyard, in French Indo-China, a position which he retained for two years. During 1867 he acted as chief constructor on board the Guerriere, flagship of the French China Station. For nine years he was appointed at Toulon Dockyard, under Mr. Dupuy de Lome and other• well-known French naval architects; and from June 1877 he had under his charge the whole of the shipbuilding department at Le Mourillon, Toulon, which he completely reorganised. In this connection, one of the first and most extensive applications of the Tweddell hydraulic-power system to the driving of machine-tools was carried out in the new plate-working shops at Le Mourillon Dockyard.

In the course of his career he built a number of dry-docks, quays, and workshops for the French foreign naval stations, and designed various classes of French battleships. He was still in the early stages of his active life as a naval constructor when he designed the Tromblon, the first French gunboat to be built of steel. He also had charge, later, of all the new ships allotted for construction on the Mediterranean. He was a Commander of the Legion of Honour, and a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and the Institution of Naval Architects.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1898.

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