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British Industrial History

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Peter Sharp Hyslop

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Peter Sharp Hyslop (1852-1899)

PETER SHARP HYSLOP was born at Upper Cairn, Kirkconnel, Dumfriesshire, on the 30th April, 1852.

After passing through the Grammar School at New Cumnock, he entered the Glasgow High School, where he obtained prizes in English, mathematics, geography, and arithmetic.

In November, 1868, he was apprenticed to Mortimer Evans, Engineer, of Glasgow, and while thus engaged he attended the lectures in the University of Glasgow, of such distinguished Professors as W. Macquorn Rankine and James Thomson in Civil Engineering, and Lord Kelvin in Natural Philosophy, and in both subjects he obtained prizes. During his apprenticeship he had an opportunity of obtaining under Mr. Evans a wide experience in coal mining, land surveying, railway construction, telegraphy, and the erection of piers. He acted as Resident Engineer on the construction of the large new pier at Brodick, Arran, and of Carradale Pier, Argyleshire.

In 1873 Mr. Hyslop became Assistant to Mr. William Crouch, of Glasgow, with whom he remained for three years, during which time he was engaged in the preparation of drawings for a large goods station for the Glasgow Union Railway Company, acting as Resident Engineer in charge of its construction.

During the winter of 1876-77 he suffered from an acute attack of typhoid fever, and on his recovery was advised to try a change of climate to restore his strength. He therefore took a voyage to Cape Town, where, in March, 1877, he entered the service of the Cape Government Public Works Department.

His first post was that of Resident Engineor on the erection of an iron bridge 1,400 feet in length, and of peculiar construction, across the Orange River near Bethulie; and he was subsequently employed in a similar capacity on other bridges in the Colony. At Kimberley he held the post of District Inspector of Works, and supervised the construction of extensive public buildings, including Court Houses, Post and Telegraph Offices, &c. In the various works entrusted to him his ability and zeal were marked, and it was with great regrethat in 1883-owing to the necessity for retrenchment-his services were dispensed with.

In April, 1884, Mr. Hyslop entered the service of the Buenos Ayres Great Southern Railway Company. He was employed as a District Engineer between Salado and La Gama until February, 1885, when he was appointed to take charge of the Mar del Plata Extension, the contract for which had been let to Messrs. Prebble and Ware. The work consisted of 80 miles of line and six stations, and was carried out under the supervision of the then Chief Resident Engineer, Mr. William Roberts, and his successors, Mr. S. Abbott and Mr. Henry A. Sketchley. Shortly before the opening of the extension to public traffic, Mr. Hyslop left the service of the Company, in August, 1886.

In the following year he was appointed Resident Engineer on the Argentine Great Western Railway, which post, however, ill-health obliged him to resign in 1891. From that time he lived in retirement until his death, whicht ook place at Upper Cairn, Kirkconnel, Dumfriesshire, on the 12th February, 1899.

Mr. Hyslop was elected a Member of the Institution on the 4th December, 1883.

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