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Samuel Petty Leather

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Samuel Petty Leather (1821-1889)

1889 Obituary [1]

SAMUEL PETTY LEATHER, son of John Leather, an architect and surveyor, was born at Sheffield on the 8th of April, 1821.

At the age of sixteen he was taken in hand by his grandfather, and was apprenticed to Maclea and March, engineers and machine-makers, of Leeds, working for five years according to the ordinary practice of the trade.

Being ambitious of raising himself above his condition of a workman, he studied very hard during his apprenticeship, rising at four o'clock in the morning to study mathematics, applied mechanics, hydraulics, and general physics. In this way, by the time his servitude was over, he had qualified himself for a superior walk in life to that for which he seemed destined.

He obtained an appointment under his uncle, George Leather, as out-door superintendent to the Leeds Water-works Co, which he occupied for some years.

Early in 1849 he was made foreman over a portion of the works of the Manchester Corporation Water-works, under J. F. Bateman, Past President Inst. C.E.

For the ensuing nine years (1854-63) he was Resident Engineer, and part of the time Manager of new gas-works for the supply of Hyde, in Cheshire; and in July 1863 was made Engineer and Manager of the Corporation Gas-works, Burnley, which position he held until his death on the 20th of February, 1889.

Here he had the designing and carrying out of all the extensions and improvements during twenty-six years, the1 make having increased meanwhile from 51,000,000 cubic feet per annum to upwards of 300,000,000. During this time he erected one large retort-house, two purifying-houses, four gasholder tanks, river-retaining walls, and six gas-holders, three of which are treble lifts.

Mr. Leather was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 5th of December, 1882.

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