Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,101 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Thomas Bell Low

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Thomas Bell Low (1855-1886)

1888 Obituary [1]

THOMAS BELL LOW was born at Birkenhead in 1855, and upon completion of his education joined his father, Mr. David Low, then engaged as a contractor in that town. Here he laid the foundations of the practical knowledge of details of construction, and by attendance at the School of Art, erected by Mr. John Laird, M.P., acquired the skill in draughtsmanship which afterwards distinguished him.

In 1873 the family left England and settled in Otago, New Zealand. Extensive railway and other works were at that time being vigorously carried on in the Colony, and Mr. Low, shortly after arrival, joined the Public Works Department under Mr. W. N. Blair, M.Inst.C.E., then District Engineer, and now Assistant Engineer-in-Chief for the Colony.

In l878 Mr. Low was appointed one of the principal assistants in the Otago District, and also architect for the Middle Island. Amongst the larger buildings designed by him are the Asylum at Sunnyside, near Christchurch, now in course of erection, and the proposed railway passenger station at Dunedin.

In the winter of 1885, during the Russian war scare, directions were given to hastily fortify the chief ports of the Colony. Mr. Low had superintendence of the defences for the port and town of Dunedin, and threw himself with characteristic energy and devotion into work of an unusually arduous nature, involving close personal supervision night and day at widely scattered points, in the depth of an inclement winter. His work won high commendation from both the civil and military engineers, but ruined his health, which never recovered from the severe strain.

A trip to Australia did not produce the benefit expected, and he sailed for England in July, 1886, to try the effects of a long sea voyage, but died while in the tropics on the 12th of September.

Mr. Low was well versed in, and was devoted to, his professional work, and was held in deservedly high estimation by the ministers and heads of the department to which he had given twelve years of able and faithful service, and to which his early death is a distinct loss. In private life the earnest and sterling qualities of his mind and character had won him universal esteem, and he will be missed in many circles of quiet usefulness.

Mr. Low was elected an Associate Member on the 2nd of February, 1886.

See Also


Sources of Information