Joseph William Wilson (1851-1930)
Joseph William Wilson, Junior (c1851-1930), M.Inst.C.E. of the Crystal Palace School of Engineering
1877 Joined the Inst of Civil Engineers
1890 of the School of Practical Engineering, Crystal Palace, Sydenham, London, S.E.
1898 Succeeded his father as principal of the Crystal Palace School of Engineering
1924 He was followed in this position by his brother, Mr. Maurice Wilson.
1930 Obituary 
It is with regret that we have to place on record the death on Wednesday, September 3rd, of Mr. Joseph William Wilson, who, with his father, the late Joseph William Wilson, was the co-founder in 1872 of the Crystal Palace School of Engineering. He was the first vice-principal of the school, and in 1878 he succeeded his father as principal. At the time of his death he was president of the school, the present principal being Mr. Maurice Wilson, his brother.
Mr. Wilson was born in Birmingham on November 22nd, 1851, and he received his early education at Dr. Pinches' School at Kennington. He served his time in engineering shops and then entered his father's office as a civil engineer in Westminster. The office had its own fitting and pattern shop, and the training thus combined theoretical and practical work.
It was their strong belief in this combined training which led the Wilsons to suggest to the Crystal Palace Company the founding of a School of Engineering. The school premises were actually in the Palace until quite recently, when they were moved to Anerley-hill.
Mr. Wilson became an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1877 and a member in 1900. He was elected a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1890 and was President of the Society of Engineers in 1902 and again in 1908. He was also an honorary member of the Junior Institution of Engineers. He served on Lord Brassey's organising committee for the International Maritime Congress of 1893 and was a vice-president of the Incorporated Society of Inspectors of Weights and Measures.
1930 Obituary 
JOSEPH WILLIAM WILSON was co-founder, with his father, of the Crystal Palace School of Practical Engineering.
In 1867 he entered his father's office in Westminster as a pupil and he also gained practical experience at the Collinge Ironworks of Messrs. Whieldon, Lecky and Lucas and in the smiths' shops, at Southwark, of the late Mr. J. Wilkinson.
In 1870 he took charge of his father's office and was engaged on various civil engineering works.
Two years later the Crystal Palace School was founded, with Mr. Joseph William Wilson, Sen., as Principal, and his son as vice-principal, the school occupying the south tower of the Crystal Palace.
Shortly after the outbreak of the War it was transferred to premises at the top of Anerley Hill. Mr. Wilson succeeded his father as Principal in 1898 and in 1925 was succeeded by his brother, Mr. Maurice Wilson, in that office, and became President of the school.
He had been a Member of the Institution since 1890 and he was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
He died on 3rd September 1930, at the age of 79.
THE LATE MR. J. W. WILSON.
A wide circle of engineers will learn, with regret, of the death, on September 3 last, of Mr. Joseph William Wilson, who was co-founder, with his father, the late Mr. Joseph William Wilson, of the Crystal Palace School of Practical Engineering. Mr. Wilson was born at Birmingham on November 22, 1861, and received his general education at the school of Dr. Pinches, in Kennington, London, S.E. In 1867, when 16 years of age, he entered upon a pupilage of three years at the office of his father in Craven-street, Westminster. During his apprenticeship, he also worked in the fitting and erecting shops and foundry of the Collinge Ironworks of Messrs. Whieldon, Lecky and Lucas, and in the smiths’ shops, at Southwark, of the late Mr. J. Wilkinson. In 1870, he was appointed head of his father’s office, and, in that capacity, and subsequently in co-operation with him, was engaged in the design and construction of various civil engineering works. These included piers at Teignmouth, Westward Ho!, and Hunstanton, and waterworks at Shoreham and High Wycombe. He was also employed in carrying out complete surveys, Parliamentary, plans and other work connected with the proposed Southend and Maldon Railway, the Westward Ho! Railway and Docks, and the St. Leonards and other piers.
In 1872, Mr. Wilson, in conjunction with his father, founded the Crystal Palace School of Practical Engineering, the former being appointed vice-principal, a post he continued to occupy until 1898, when, upon his father’s death, he succeeded to the position of principal. The school was for many years housed in the south tower of the Crystal Palace, but soon after the outbreak of the European war, it was transferred to premises at the top of Anerley Hill, close to the Palace. Mr. Wilson continued to act as principal for 27 years. In 1926, he was succeeded in that office by his brother, Mr. Maurice Wilson, and, at the age of 74, became president of the school. Mi. J. W. Wilson was elected an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on February 6, 1877, and was transferred to full membership on March 27,1900. He became a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1890, and was elected an honorary member of the Junior Institution of Engineers in June, 1902. Mr. Wilson was, for many years, a fellow of the Society of Engineers, and was President of that body in 1892 and in 1908. He was also a vice-president of the Incorporated Society of Inspectors of Weights and Measures. In 1893, Mr. Wilson served on Lord Brassey’s organising committee for the International Maritime Congress."
Sources of Information
- 1881 census
- Civil Engineer Lists 1818-1930
- The Engineer 1930/09/05
- 1930 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
- Engineering 1930/09/12