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British Industrial History

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Alfred Thomas Cooke

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Alfred Thomas Cooke (1819-1895)

1895 Obituary [1]

ALFRED THOMAS COOKE was born on the 14th of September, 1819. He served a pupilage to Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, during the construction of the Thames Tunnel, and was afterwards apprenticed to Joel Spiller, at whose works at Battersea he was engaged on the construction of the engines for the first steamboats which ran on the Thames.

Mr. Cooke was next employed for three years as a draughtsman at the Horsley Ironworks, Tipton.

He then entered the service of the Honourable East India Company as a marine engineer. After nearly six years at Bombay and afloat, he was appointed by Miller, Ravenhill and Co of Blackwall, to the service of the Austrian Lloyd Steam Navigation Company. For four years' he was employed between Venice and Trieste, at Alexandria and at Constantinople, in inspecting machinery, both during construction and while working. While in Venice he assisted in the design and construction of some bridges for Baron Rothschild.

From 1854 to 1856 Mr. Cooke acted as Resident Engineer in charge of the engineering work in connection with the construction of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham.

He was then engaged by Henry Grissell to construct a patent dry dock slip at Cronstadt, and on other important works in various parts of the world, in connection with lighthouses, bridges and railways.

In 1867 Mr. Cooke designed and constructed the Ceara Waterworks in North Brazil. On the completion of those works he returned to England, and, after fulfilling various minor engagements, went to Ryde and assisted in the construction of the tunnel under the Esplanade and of the Railway Pier. He was then retained by the Joint Railway Company in the Isle of Wight as Resident Engineer, which appointment he held until his retirement in 1894.

Mr. Cooke died at Ryde on the 15th of April, 1895, from paralysis and cerebral hemorrhage.

He was elected an Associate on the 1st of April, 1856, and was subsequently transferred to the class of Associate Members.

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