Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William West

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William West (1751-1831) of St. Blazey, Cornwall was a Cornish engineer and brother-in-law to Richard Trevithick when they married the Harvey sisters.

1797 William West married Johanna Harvey the daughter of John Harvey of Harveys of Hayle

1800 An old account-book of Trevithick's, dated 1800, gives the detail items in the manufacture of the first steam-carriage. William West for two or three years received pay for constructing models

1802 Richard Trevithick (40%), Andrew Vivian (40%), and William West (20%) were partners in the patent

1803 William West was then at Harvey's foundry, in Cornwall, preparing a new cylinder and still in February and March he was there preparing a new boiler, after which he was for five months in London, about the steam-carriage; and in August, Felton was paid for building the coach.

1809 he was in communication with his brother-in-law, Henry Harvey, to arrange the preparing and sending to London "300 tons of scantled Cornish granite fortnightly," and his old friend. William West was to superintend the cutting and shipping of the stone.

1812 William West helped in applying high-pressure steam to the Watt low-pressure engine

1815 William West, in his disappointment at not being made rich by his share in the patent, became a clock and watch maker, and produced the best timekeepers in Cornwall, called West's chronometers

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