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William Lyster Holt

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William Lyster Holt (1838-1889)

1889 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM LYSTER HOLT was born in London on 15th August 1829; and after being educated in France and at King's College School, London, served a pupilage from 1853 to 1857 to Mr. M. C. Rea at the locomotive works of the Great Western Railway, Swindon, where he passed through all the shops, and was employed for one year as draughtsman, and for a part of the time had charge of the running sheds at Reading.

During 1859-60 he was third and second engineer in the s.s. "Earsdon" and the "Admiral Kanaris."

Then for two years, 1861-62, he studied civil engineering and the higher branches of mathematics at the New Cross Naval School and at University College, London.

For eighteen months, 1863-64, he was employed by Messrs. Buchanan and Co. in designing various classes of machinery, and in supervising the construction of a large paddle yacht for the King of Siam.

In 1864-65 he was engaged as manager and senior draughtsman to Sir. Robert F. Fairlie on general railway work, and in perfecting the details for his double bogie locomotive.

He then became assistant engineer to the Central Railway of Venezuela, and was occupied in preparing designs for bridges, girders, &c., and in generally superintending and inspecting all the ironwork and rolling stock for that railway.

In 1866 he was resident engineer and locomotive superintendent on the Neath and Brecon Railway, 33 miles long, then in course of construction; and assisted generally in designing and superintending the manufacture and erection of girders and bridges, engine sheds and appliances, and in the design of the rolling stock.

For nine years, 1868-77, he was in partnership with Mr. G. O. Budd, and amongst other works was engaged in fitting out the steam yacht "Stella" for the Duke of Hamilton, as well as in designing and superintending the construction of a large T-head to the jetty at the New Dundee Wharf, Wapping, and in superintending the construction as contractor's engineer of the following railways:— St. Aubin's and La Moye Railway, Jersey, 4 miles; Malmesbury Railway, 6.5 miles; and Bury and Thetford Railway, 13 miles.

In 1877 he was appointed chief engineer on the Southern Tramway in Paris, over 50 miles in length, and had charge of the steam traction, employing over thirty locomotives; he also supervised the Rouen steam tramways.

In 1878 he gave evidence before a committee of the House of Commons in regard to the use of mechanical power on tramways; and also acted as one of the jurors at the International Exhibition, Paris; and in 1879 he accompanied General Hutchinson in his official inspection of the Rouen and Paris tramways.

From the commencement of 1880 he practised on his own account as a civil engineer, and was principally engaged in obtaining parliamentary sanction for more than 120 miles length of steam and horse street-tramways, and in superintending their execution and equipment.

In 1883-84 he acted as engineer to the Duke of Portland for the drainage of Welbeck Abbey gardens.

In 1885 he was one of the jurors of the Inventions Exhibition, London.

Latterly he was engaged in superintending the equipment of the steam tramways in Accrington, and the construction and equipment of those in Blackburn.

His death took place in Loudon on 11th February 1889, in the fiftieth year of his age.

He because a Member of this Institution in 1867.

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