Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Robert Dickinson

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Sometimes described as a West India merchant

In 1808 Richard Trevithick entered a partnership with Robert Dickinson, a West India merchant. Dickinson supported several of Trevithick's patents. The first of these was the ' Nautical Labourer', a steam tug with a floating crane propelled by paddle wheels. The second patent is for stowing cargo in iron tanks. Dickinson is described of 58 Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields.

They set up in partnership on the second patent at 72 Fore Street (where Trevithick was living after the closure of the Thames Archway Co project. John Steel from Newcastle, who had worked with Trevithick on the locomotive, was the foreman and assisted by Samuel Hambly a cousin of Trevithick's wife and Samuel Rowe. The latter two were Cornishmen and had worked on the locomotives.

1809 April 29th. Third joint patent for the use of iron in shipbuilding

1810 Dickinson and Trevithick undertook to raise a wreck off Margate with tanks as bouyancy aids but after a dispute over payemnt they sank the ship again

1810 March 23rd. Patent application by both men concerning propelling ships and raising wrecks.

1801-23 He took out 23 patents

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