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.

1812 advertisement: 'High Pressure Patent Steam Engines and Boilers.
This is to inform the Mine Agents and the Public, that WILLIAM WEST of Hayle Founderv, as holding a Share in what is termed TREVITHICK's PATENT of HIGH PRESSURE STEAM ENGINES, and I believe the only Proprietor in Cornwall ; any person applying for such an Engine, either for draining Mines, or lifting Water, shall meet with fair treatment, together with the prices as I am fully authorised so to do, and the same shall be executed with all possible dispatch.
Likewise, the HIGH PRESSURE STEAM BOILERS, which may be applied to any Engine working on Bolton and Wats' Plan, in a short time after such Boilers is made ; — and the savings over any Boilers on the old mode of working, is worth attention, where the consumption is great. Any particulars may be known, by applying at Dolcoath Mine, where Mr. West fixed the New Boilers, which are at present working on great savings of Coals to a 63-inch Double Engine. Take Notice, the above rests under a patent, and fully explained in the specification.'[1]

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

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Royal Cornwall Gazette - Saturday 9 May 1812