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Joseph Hartley Wicksteed

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Joseph Hartley Wicksteed (1842-1919) was born on 12 September 1842 in Leeds.

Brother of Charles Wicksteed

He was educated at Ruthyn Grammar School, then apprenticed to the machine-tool making business of Joshua Buckton and Co at Well House Foundry, Leeds. He became, in time, the chief designer, was later taken into partnership, and, on the retirement of Joshua Buckton, became the head of the firm.

He was the inventor of many mechanical appliances, including the vertical single-lever testing machine and the horizontal universal testing machine. He was also directly identified with inventions such as multiple drills, two-spindle radial drills, double cutting tool-holders for planning and slotting machines and hydraulic plate shears.

1903-4 He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

He died in 1919.


1920 Obituary [1]

JOSEPH HARTLEY WICKSTEED was born on 12th September 1842, and was the son of the Rev. Charles Wicksteed, of Leeds.

He was educated at Ruthyn Grammar School, and was apprenticed to the machine-tool making business of Messrs. Joshua Buckton and Co., Well House Foundry, Leeds. He became, in time, the chief designer, and was ultimately taken into partnership, becoming head of the firm many years ago on the retirement of Mr. Joshua Buckton.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1882, and was successively Member of Council from 1885 to 1894, Vice-President 1895 to 1902, and President 1903-4, and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

He wrote numerous Papers published in the Proceedings, the subjects being, a Single-lever Testing Machine (1882); an Autographic Test Recording Apparatus (1886); a 100-ton Universal Testing Machine with Variable Accumulator (1901); Large Testing Machines in South Wales, 1829-1906 (1506).

He was Vice-Chairman of the Mechanical Section of the International Engineering Congress held at Glasgow in 1901, and during his Presidency he represented this Institution at the Meeting in the United States in 1904, which was held jointly with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers at Chicago and St. Louis.

He was the inventor of many mechanical appliances that have been of great service in engineering, chief among them being his vertical single-lever testing machine, and his horizontal universal testing machine. He was also directly identified with such inventions as multiple drills, two-spindle radial drills, double cutting tool-holders for planing and slotting machines, hydraulic plate shears, etc.

Mr. Wicksteed took a great interest in helping young engineers, many of whom have benefited by his kindly advice and encouragement.

On business and on pleasure he travelled extensively in Europe, Canada, and the United States. He was strongly opposed to the introduction into this country of the metric system of weights and measures, and as an alternative he brought before the British Weights and Measures Association a scheme for bringing the physical science units into harmony with the British industrial and commercial units, as a British Standard.

He became a Member of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce in 1906, and was its President in 1912-13; he was also a Life-Governor of the Leeds University and President of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society in 1901-2.

His death took place at his residence in Leeds on 16th December 1919, at the age of seventy-seven.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Institution of Mechanical Engineers