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British Industrial History

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Simon Goodrich

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Simon Goodrich (1773-1847) was an engineer to the British Navy Board.

He was born 28 October 1773 in Suffolk. In 1796 was appointed draughtsman in the office of Samuel Bentham, Inspector General of Naval Works, and in 1799 was promoted to the post of Mechanist to the Navy Board.

1799 Became heavily involved in the Portsmouth Block Mills of the death of Samuel Rehe, and was responsible to Bentham for the management of the installation of the machinery at the Block Mills, and for the Metal Mills and millwright's shop at Portsmouth. He was also responsible for the mechanical engineering work at all the other Naval Dockyards, and travelled incessantly on Naval business.

1812 the Inspector General's office was reorganised and Goodrich worked for two years as Mechanist without warrant - in effect on contract.

1814 he was appointed Engineer and Mechanist, and remained in this post until he retired in 1831. [1]

As well as his main responsibilities over time he was involved in devising machinery for testing anchor chains; for investigating different fire fighting apparatus used on ship board; reporting on machinery for making rope and cordage, and on saw-milling apparatus; for making sea-going trials of steam vessels. He was also involved greatly in the day-to-day management of the manufacturing staff. He was in close contact with many of the important engineers of the time, including Richard Trevithick, Matthew Murray, Henry Maudslay and Marc Isambard Brunel.

1820 Simon Goodrich, Resident Engineer at Dockyard, Portsmouth, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[2]

On his retirement Goodrich moved to Lisbon, and died there 3 September 1847.

After his death his papers and drawings somehow were returned to England, and by 1875 were in a library collection somewhere (the location has yet to be discovered). They were later transferred to the library of the London Science Museum now forming part of the libraries of Imperial College London.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1921/08/26
  2. 1820 Institution of Civil Engineers