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Samuel Jackson (1879-1943)

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Samuel Jackson (c1879-1943)


1944 Obituary [1]

SAMUEL JACKSON, Works Director of Gorton Foundry, Manchester, and a member of the Board of Directors of Beyer, Peacock and Company., Ltd., will be remembered as a great locomotive engineer, whose talents placed him in the very front rank of his profession. He had been with Messrs. Beyer, Peacock for forty-three years, and was widely known throughout the locomotive and railway world; moreover, he made a very definite contribution to the design, and particularly the development, of the steam locomotive. Receiving his preliminary technical training at Stockport College of Technology, he commenced his career as a locomotive engineer in 1896 by entering the service of the London and North Western Railway Company as a premium apprentice at Crewe works, at that time under the superintendency of the famous F. W. Webb, whose well-known three-cylinder compounds were then at the height of their fame and the subject of much controversy in locomotive circles.

After the completion of his Crewe apprenticeship in 1900, Mr. Jackson received a further training for three years as a pupil in Beyer, Peacock's works at Gorton, spending a few months in each department and completing his pupilage in the drawing office in 1903, thus serving a seven years' apprenticeship. At the termination of his pupilage he had the somewhat unusual distinction at that time of an offer to continue in the service of the firm as a draughtsman.

Early in 1904, promotion came in the form of a move to the special department wherein all new designs of locomotives were prepared; and for several years this class of work, with its opportunities for intensive training and getting to the root of matters in locomotive design and calculations, occupied his attention. During this period the idea for the now well-known Garratt locomotive was brought to the notice of the firm and, in collaboration with the late Mr. H. W. Garratt, Mr. Jackson, in 1907, produced the first Garratt locomotive design, which drawing was used in the Patent Specification. Many remarkable engines of this type remain a monument to his outstanding designing abilities. In fact, it may be said that he created the basic technique of this system of articulation. In this connection, it is interesting to recall that as early as 1910 designs for Garratt locomotives, equalling in power those of the present day, were prepared and submitted to railway companies in various parts of the world, but many years elapsed before the merits of the type became generally appreciated.

In 1913 Mr. Jackson was appointed assistant works manager and during the war of 1914-18 he was mainly responsible for the reorganization of the erecting and machine shops and the conversion of the machinery to meet the requirements of armament manufacture, and his achievement in this direction was well known to Government Departments. At the close of the war Mr. Jackson was made works manager, and he had the onerous task of reorganizing the works to peace-time production, in the face of acute difficulties.

In 1924 he was appointed advisory and development engineer, which position embraced the investigation of all special technical matters submitted to the company. It was in this capacity that, in collaboration with the Ljungstrom Turbine Company, he spent some three months in Sweden at the works of Messrs. Nydquist and Holm, collaborating in the design of the 2,000 h.p. Ljungstrom turbine condenser locomotive, the construction of which at Gorton Foundry, and its subsequent trials on the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, he also superintended.

In 1925 the complete control of all the designing and drawing office staffs came under him, and a few months later he assumed control of the works, with the result that in 1926 he was appointed chief designer and works manager, a position which he held until his appointment as manager of Gorton Foundry in 1930.

In 1932 Mr. Jackson was elected a director of the Richard Garrett Engineering Works, a subsidiary company, and in 1938 he was made a member of the local board of the company as works director at Gorton Foundry.

In 1942 he became a Director of Messrs. Beyer, Peacock and thus attained that infrequent distinction of rising from an apprentice in the works to a director of the company to which he had devoted his life. His death occurred on 7th June 1943.

The first large Beyer-Garratt engine with which Mr. Jackson was intimately associated was built for the Nitrate Railway of Chile in 1926; it was of the 2-8-2+2-8-2 type, weighing 187 tons, with a grate area of 69 sq. ft., and was intended for work on grades of 1 in 25. Numerous designs, all of exceptional size for the gauge and other limiting factors, followed, culminating in the great South African Railways design having 90,000 lb. tractive effort; the 4-8-4+4-8-4 type for Kenya and Uganda; and the 4 6-4+4 6 4 engines for the Sudan Government and Rhodesia Railways, notable either for original wheel arrangements or for being the largest of their size for the gauge and weight of rail involved.

Mr. Jackson had visited the Continent on many occasions and took a leading part in the many designs of Beyer-Garratt engines built by Continental firms under his firm's supervision; and amongst many engines built under this arrangement undoubtedly his greatest contribution was the Algerian express passenger Garratt type, which has over 60,000 lb. of tractive effort, with a weight of 212 tons, and over a number of years has proved itself capable of maintaining speeds up to 80 m.p.h. Mr. Jackson also visited the U.S.A. and Moscow, the latter in connection with the largest Garratt engine so far built, which weighed 255 tons and had a grate area of 86 sq. ft.

Mr. Jackson's mind was a veritable encyclopaedia of British, Continental, and American locomotive practice and his amazing memory for locomotive detail and his designing ingenuity were as continual a source of admiration to his friends as they were to the advantage of his company.

During the last years of his life the works again had to face war conditions; and numerous letters received by the firm, including the Government Departments, refer in terms of the highest appreciation to his great work during these difficult years. To quote a letter from the War Office ". . . it can be truly said that he made his contribution to the war effort".



1943 Obituary [2]




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