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British Industrial History

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Richard Hobbs Taunton

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January 1866.

Richard Hobbs Taunton (1831-1911)

of Heneage Street, Birmingham

1831 Born in Wareham the son of Edmund Taunton, Merchant, and his wife Sarah

1865 Patent. '2212. And Edward Davies, of Birmingham, in the .county of Warwick, Engineer, and Richard Hobbs Taunton, also of Birmingham aforesaid, Tube Manufacturer, have given the like notice in respect of the invention of "an improved combination drill brace."[1]

1875 Patent. '208. And Richard Hobbs Taunton, of Wilton, in the county of Warwick, George Hayward, of Acock's Green, in the county of Worcester, and Conrad Knap, of Gravelly Hill, in the county of Warwick, have given the like notice in respect of the invention of "improvements in the manufacture of wrought iron tubes."'[2]

1901 Living at Marsh Lane, Erdington: Richard H. Taunton (age 69 born Wareham). Consulting Mechanical Engineer - Employer. With his wife Elizabeth F. Taunton (age 71 born Bow, London). Two servants.[3]

1911 Obituary [4]

RICHARD HOBBS TAUNTON was born at Wareham, Dorsetshire, on 1st June 1831.

A few year later his parents settled in Birmingham, and he became a pupil of King Edward's Foundation.

As he showed some mechanical talent he entered the service of Messrs. Fox, Henderson and Co., of London Works, Smethwick, and soon became an outdoor superintendent. Among his early responsibilities he had the oversight of the erection of roofing at Sheerness Dockyard, and after that he was second in charge in connection with the erection of the roof of New Street Station, Birmingham.

This was followed by his being superintendent of the erection of the bridge over the River Medway on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway at Rochester.

He next became manager of the foundry department of Messrs. Cochrane and Co.'s Woodside Ironworks, near Dudley, and for them he superintended the erection of various bridges.

In 1862 he bought the Star Tube Works. In addition to tube manufacture, general engineering work was carried out, and particularly high-pressure cylinders for the Government balloon department.

He was an active member of several trade organizations, and for several years was chairman of the Boiler Tube Association.

Owing to the growing demand for seamless cold-drawn tubes, incident to the development of cycle-building, his firm was converted into a limited company, as Taunton, Delmard and Lane, but the enterprise was unsuccessful.

His death took place at Witton, near Birmingham, on 29th March 1911, in his eightieth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1876.

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