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Thomas William Rumble

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1866.

Thomas William Rumble (1832-c1882).

1860 Thomas William Rumble, Engineer, Wandsworth Road, South Lambeth.[1]


1883 Obituary [2]

THOMAS WILLIAM RUMBLE was born in London on the 26th of December, 1832. He received part of his education at the Reading Grammar-School under the celebrated Dr. Valpy.

At an early age he was transferred to the office of his father, an architect in good practice, to be taught the rudiments of his future profession. Tiring of the dull routine of the drawing-office, he left home to try his fortune across the Atlantic, where, after many adventures, he was appointed in November 1850 Assistant- Engineer on the Central Railroad of New Jersey, under Mr. J. Laurie, he being then not quite eighteen years of age.

He remained in America till June 1852, during which time he was actively engaged in laying out the Erie and Forest Lawn Cemeteries, superintending the building of the Berks County Baths, the Buffalo Public Washhouses, &C., and occasionally giving lectures on architectural and engineering subjects.

After a short interval in England he, in October 1853, went to India as assistant engineer on the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway then in course of construction. An attack of fever obliged him to return home, where he arrived in February 1854.

He next obtained the post of engineering-superintendent of the Arthington Extension Waterworks, under Mr. Hawksley, Past-President Inst. C.E., with whom he remained till the completion of the work.

Shortly afterwards Mr. Rumble opened an office in Westminster, and practised as a Civil and Mechanical Engineer.

In 1869 he paid a second visit to the United States, and spent six months visiting many engineering shops, and acquiring a thorough knowledge of recent mechanical improvements.

On New Year's Day, 1872, Mr. Rumble was again in the United States, with the view of obtaining information for the [[National Safe-Deposit Co]] then about to be formed in London. He visited the various Safe-Deposit Companies in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Halifax, &C., and the ruins of Chicago, then scarcely cold after the great fire, and examined the vaults and safes remaining intact.

Upon his return he was engaged in designing the safes, strong-rooms, buildings and other arrangements of the National Safe-Deposit Company, which were afterwards erected under his superintendence in Queen Victoria Street.

In 1876 Mr. Rumble obtained the position of Chief Engineer of the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Co, which he retained until his death, and during the interval the dividends rose from 24 to 74 per cent.

Towards the end of 1881 the excessive overwork and heavy responsibilities of this position began to tell on his health, which steadily, though very gradually failed, and symptoms of anemia developed themselves.

In December 1882, leave of absence having been granted by the Directors of the Company, various places were visited in search of health, until last spring he returned to Bonchurch, Isle of Wight, where he rapidly grew worse, and died on the 21st of April, 1883.

His critical condition was almost to the last concealed by his courageous efforts to appear better than he was, and thus to relieve the anxiety of his family. He possessed a most retentive memory, and had the faculty of readily assimilating those portions of the books he read which were likely to be useful in professional work. His travels over the greater part of Europe and of America naturally enlarged his ideas, and he drew full benefit from the varied experience thus acquired.

He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 29th of May, 1877, and he was likewise a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and belonged to various other societies . . . [more]


1884 Obituary [3]

THOMAS WILLIAM RUMBLE, F.R.S.E., was born in London on 26th December 1832.

After receiving part of his education at the Reading Grammar School under the celebrated Dr. Valpy, he entered at an early age the office of his father, an architect, where he was taught the rudiments of his profession.

Tiring of the routine of the drawing office, he went to America, where after many adventures he was appointed in November 1850 assistant engineer on the Central Railroad of New Jersey, being then barely eighteen years of age.

He remained in America till June 1852, during which time he was actively engaged in laying out the Erie and Forest Lawn cemeteries, superintending the building of the Bones County baths, the Buffalo public washhouses, &c., and occasionally giving lectures on architectural and engineering subjects.

Almost immediately on his return to England he obtained work in Kensington, superintending the building of All Saints' church, and the laying out of the Kensington Park estate.

In October 1853 he went out to Bombay as assistant engineer on the Bombay Baroda and Central Indian Railway, then in course of construction; but an attack of fever obliged him to return to England in February 1854.

He next obtained the post of engineering superintendent of the Arthington Extension Water Works, Leeds, under Mr. Hawksley, where he remained till the completion of the work.

Returning to London ho was for short periods draughtsman in the offices of Messrs. Conybeare and Birkinshaw, the London and South Western Railway, &c., until in 1857 he was appointed engineer to the Atlas Steel Works, Sheffield, then entirely in the hands of Mr. (now Sir) John Brown.

In 1862 he commenced practice in London as a civil and mechanical engineer.

In 1869 he paid a second visit to the United States, and spent six months in visiting many engineering shops, and acquiring a thorough knowledge of the recent mechanical improvements. At the beginning of 1872, with the view of obtaining information for the National Safe Deposit Co., then about to be formed in London, he was again in New York, and visited the various safe-deposit buildings in that city, and in Philadelphia, Boston, and Halifax, as well as the ruins of Chicago, where after the recent great fire he inspected the vaults and safes remaining intact.

On returning to London he designed the safes, strong rooms, buildings, and other arrangements for the National Safe Deposit Co., which were afterwards carried out under his superintendence at the corner of Queen Victoria Street.

In 1876 he obtained the position of chief engineer of the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Works; and in 1878 he successfully laid a 30-inch main under the Thames at Richmond without the aid of dams, by dredging a trench across the bed of the river, and lowering into it the several lengths of pipe previously put together with ball-and-socket joints.

Towards the end of 1881, excessive overwork and the responsibilities of his position began to tell on his health; and having, after still another year's work, vainly sought recovery in rest, he died at Bonchurch, Isle of Wight, on 21st April 1883, at the age of fifty.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1860.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1860 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  2. 1883 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
  3. 1884 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries