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British Industrial History

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John Rylands Library

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Founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband, John Rylands of Rylands and Sons [1]. Construction started in 1890 and the library was formally opened on 6 October 1899.

The architect was Basil Champneys. Morrison of Liverpool were the main contractors. Sandstone for the building came from a quarry in Penrith. Bookcases by Clements, Jeakes and Co of Bloomsbury Street, London. Most of the sculptures were by Mr Bridgeman of Lichfield. Extensive filtering arrangements were provided for air drawn into the library. The electric lighting was undertaken by Mr. Thomas, under the supervision of Charles Hopkinson (1854-1920) as consulting engineer. The electric fittings and much of the other decorative metalwork were by J. W. Singer and Sons, of Frome, Somerset. [2]

The dynamos were belt-driven by three Crossley Brothers gas engines of 75 HP each.[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Wikipedia entry for John Rylands Library
  2. Manchester Times, 6 October 1899
  3. Letter from D. H. Irwin to the Londonderry Sentinel, 10 October 1903, re Crossley gas engines at the library