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British Industrial History

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Joseph Hancox

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Joseph Hancox (1827-1889)

1890 Obituary [1]

JOSEPH HANCOX was born at Tipton, Staffordshire, on the 25th of March, 1827.

After a local education, he studied surveying with his brother, John Hancox, engineer of the Birmingham Canal Co, and passed a short time at the Horseley Iron works.

Thence, in 1845, he went to the Trent Valley Railway as assistant to John Jones, agent for the contractors, Brassey, Mackenzie and Stephenson. He was employed in similar positions in 1847 on the works of the North Staffordshire Railway, also under Mr. Jones, the agent for Mr. Brassey, and, in 1850, on the Birkenhead, Lancashire and Cheshire Junction Railway under George Goodfellow, agent for Mr. Brassey.

From thence in 1853 he went to Piedmont, where he, in conjunction with the late Thomas Woodhouse, carried out the contract taken by Mr. Brassey for the construction of the Turin and Novara Railway, and in 1856 he took charge of the works of the Netherton Tunnel, under the late George Meakin, contractor.

Mr. Hancox was then engaged for a considerable period in going over and estimating for Mr. Brassey several lines of railway, notably the Lukmanier, crossing the Alps, the Moldavian Railway, and the Colombo and Kandy, Ceylon ; also the Swansea Docks, Spithead Forts, Portsmouth Harbour defences and other works.

In 1859 he went to Rio de Janeiro to carry out the contract made by the Rio de Janiero City Improvements Company with Messrs. Brassey and Ogilvie for the drainage of that city, which contract was completed.

At the expiration of that time, he was engaged estimating various works, amongst others the Berlin and Stralsund Railway. Subsequently he went over the projected works for the Naples water-supply for John Aird and Sons, also lines of railway in Poland and Saxony.

In 1877 he returned to Rio de Janiero, and, in association with the late Alexander Ogilvie, entered into a contract with the Brazilian Government for the rain-water drainage of the city, carried out partially to a successful issue, but never completed, in consequence of financial difficulties on the part of the Brazilian Government, which prevented the completion of a work that would doubtless have tended greatly to diminish the bug-bear of foreigners in that city in the shape of yellow fever. During this time, he executed the works for the water-supply of Santos, in the Province of Sao Paulo, Brazil. . . . [more]

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