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British Industrial History

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John Cochrane (1823-1891)

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1861.

John Cochrane (1823-1891)

1854 of Grove Hill, Upper Norwood, Surrey

1855 Became a partner with his brother, Alexander Brodie Cochrane, in the Engineering Works at Woodside, Dudley. He devoted his attention especially to the engineering branch of the establishment; after that the firm executed many large contracts, particularly some of the iron bridges over the Thames. They supplied nearly all the principal water and gas companies of the country, as well as many on the continent, and in the colonies.



1892 Obituary [1]

JOHN COCHRANE was the son of Mr. Alexander Brodie Cochrane, of Blowers Green, near Dudley, where he was born on the 8th of February, 1823.

At sixteen years of age he became a pupil to the late John Joseph Bramah, and was afterwards Resident Engineer to the firm of Bramah, Fox and Co, at Smethwick, where he superintended the construction and erection of many large works, such as aqueducts, bridges, roofs and tanks.

In 1850 he put in the cylinder-foundations, at a depth of 80 feet, for the bridge over the Medway at Rochester, the entrance of water being prevented by the use of compressed air within the cylinders.

In 1850-51 Mr. Cochrane was Resident Engineer, under the late Sir Charles Fox, on the erection of the first Great Exhibition Building, and in 1852-53 superintended its removal to Sydenham and re-erection as the Crystal Palace. The first Great Exhibition Building was constructed, as is well known, on entirely novel principles, and its completion by the specified time - the 1st of May, 1851 - was largely due to Mr. Cochrane’s untiring energy.

In 1855 he became a partner with his brother, Alexander Brodie Cochrane, in the Engineering Works at Woodside, Dudley.

This firm successfully carried out many large works, amongst which may be specially mentioned the new bridge over the Thames at Westminster, under the late Thomas Page; the Charing Cross and Cannon Street Railway Bridges, under the late Sir John Hawkshaw; the Clifton Suspension Bridge, under Sir John Hawkshaw and W. H. Barlow; and the Runcorn Bridge over the Mersey, under the late William Baker.

From 1871 to 1877 Mr. Cochrane was a partner with his brother Henry, and George Wythes, in some Blast Furnaces at Middleton, near Darlington.

In later years his sons Harry and Arthur were in partnership with him in Westminster, and amongst the contracts carried out by the firm were Parkeston Quay, at Harwich, the widening of Charing Cross Railway Bridge and Rochester Bridge, both for the South Eastern Railway Company, the erection of the Dee Bridge under Francis Fox, and the tunnel under the Mersey for the pipes in connection with the new water-supply from Lake Vyrnwy. Mr. Cochrane was engaged upon the latter work at the time of his death, which took place on the 29th of September, 1891.

In 1860 and 1872 he read Papers before the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, entitled respectively 'Drilling instead of Punching Wrought-Iron Plates' and 'Riveted Joints.'

Mr. Cochrane was elected an Associate of The Institution of Civil Engineers on the 4th of December, 1855, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 25th of February, 1879.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1892 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries