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British Industrial History

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John Lockhart Brunton

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John Lockhart Brunton (c1871-1927), engineer and inventor, of Brunton Brothers

Great-great grandson of William Brunton


1927 Obituary [1]


JOHN LOCKHART BRUNTON, engineer and inventor, came of an engineering family, for his great-grandfather, William Brunton, of Butterley Ironworks and of Eagle Foundry, Birmingham, was an assistant of Watt and Rennie. He served his time under his father at the famous works of Fawcett, Preston and Co Ltd., Liverpool, and after two years at Crossley Bros. Ltd., Openshaw, went to sea and in a very short time secured his chief's ticket. His attention thus turned to the subject of safety at sea, led to the invention with his brother of their hydraulic bulkhead door which is now fitted to upwards of 700,000 tons of shipping. He spent much time on a system for flooding and trimming a vessel should she be "stove in" below the water line. This he demonstrated to naval men, both British and foreign, before the war, and he was satisfied that the German warships, after the battle of Jutland, could not have "limped" back to port unless they had been fitted with some such device.

Other inventions of his were an automatic ignition retarder for motor cars; hunting gear for the control of hydraulic machinery; steering and braking gear for aeroplanes. He was engaged on the latter at the time of his death, which took place, from heart failure, after four months' illness on September 11th, at the age of fifty six.

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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1927/09/23