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Louis Irving Seymour

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Louis Irving Seymour (1860-1900)

1900 Obituary [1]

LOUIS IRVING SEYMOUR was born at Whitney's Point, State of New York, in 1860, and was educated at the Academy, in the same town.

His mechanical engineering training was started in 1881 at the Lackawanna Iron and Steel Co.'s works at Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he worked as a fitter, Bessemer steel-blower, and foreman in charge of rolling-mill machinery.

In 1884 he was employed at the works of the Dickson Manufacturing Co. in the same town, erecting machinery and boilers. Having shown considerable ability he was sent by the latter firm in 1886 as chief engineer of the El Callao Gold Mine in Venezuela until 1888, when he was appointed chief engineer of the Plymouth Cordage Co.'s works at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

In 1890, at the age of thirty, he became chief mechanical engineer to the De Beers Consolidated Mines at Kimberley, and held that position until 1893. During that period he effected great economies in the existing machinery and plant. The winding engines that he designed and erected there in 1892 hold the record for fast hoisting compared with any engine of their size, for from a depth of 1,260 feet 3,700 tons have been raised in twelve hours, and 6,500 tons in twenty-four hours.

During the last nine months of 1893 he held the position of acting general manager. At the Kimberley Exhibition in 1892 he took a most active part, and was chairman of the Machinery Committee.

In 1893 he returned to London, and became manager of the Erith works of Messrs. Fraser and Chalmers, and subsequently managing director, which position he held until 1896. He was also consulting engineer to the De Boers Consolidated Mines as well as to the Rand Mines during this period.

In 1896 be had the choice of two appointments offered to him, namely, engineer to the Central London Railway and chief engineer to the Rand Mines and other companies with which Messrs. H. Eckstein and Co. were connected. He accepted the latter position, and remained in Johannesburg until after the declaration of war, leaving on 14th October 1899. In Cape Town he became interested and largely instrumental in the formation of the Engineer Corps known as the Cape Railway Pioneer Regiment, of which he received the commission of Major. This regiment, numbering nearly one thousand, was recruited mainly from the engineers and mechanics of all kinds from the Rand. Though they were organised purely as an engineering corps, they were armed for self-protection, and the casualties that have occurred proved the serious fighting the corps has undergone.

His death occurred in a skirmish with the Boers at the Zand River, Orange River Colony, on 14th June 1900, at the age of forty.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1894, and was connected with other kindred societies, being President of the South African Association of Engineers.

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