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British Industrial History

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Joseph Gregory Horner

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Joseph Gregory Horner (1847-1927)

1927 Obituary [1]

JOSEPH GREGORY HORNER was born in Bristol in 1847 and spent most of his early life with Messrs. Stothert and Pitt of Bath.

After a seven years' apprenticeship he served for many years as a journeyman pattern-maker and then as foreman.

Literary pursuits claimed his attention from the first, but his success in this direction came when he commenced to write on technical subjects, first on pattern-making and foundry practice and later on general shop practice. During the many years which he devoted solely to writing, he wrote about thirty text-books, a technical dictionary and an engineering encyclopaedia. He also contributed to the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" and wrote regularly in the engineering periodicals.

He died on 9th February 1927, and had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1895.

1927 Obituary[2]


It is with great regret that we have to record the death of Mr. Joseph Horner, whose name is so familiar to many engineers from his contributions to technical literature. Mr. Joseph Gregory Horner died on the 9th inst., at the age of 79, after only a short illness. His early education was obtained at the Bath Forum School, but at the age of 13 he was apprenticed to Messrs. Stothert and Pitt in that city, with whom he served for the full term of seven years. He continued with the firm as a journeyman until he was 33 years of age, when he was promoted to foreman patternmaker.

Subsequently he turned his attention to technical literature, and for many years has been a valued contributor to Engineering. He was the author of numerous works, including “ The Principles of Modern Pattern Making ” and “ Practical Pattern Making,” “ Practical Ironfounding ” “ Smithing and Forging,” &c, compiling also an “ Encyclopaedia of Practical Engineering.” He contributed also to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His contributions to our columns date back to 1897, when he wrote a series of articles on machine moulded wheels. This was followed by a series on die forging. Another long series, commencing in 1910, dealt exhaustively with foundry plant. On several occasions he wrote accounts for our pages of machine tools at exhibitions. This he first did in connection with an exhibition at Olympia in 1906. Subsequently he described the tools at the Franco-British Exhibition of 1908. Although latterly advanced to a considerable age, he kept in touch with developments to the last, and only in our last volume the modern development of centreless grinding machines formed the subject of articles from his pen. Although his writing for Engineering was confined mainly to tools and shop methods, Mr. Horner was a man of wide tastes followed as hobbies practical microscopy and astronomy. He was elected as an Associate Member to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1895."

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