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Charles Henry Waring

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Charles Henry Waring (1818-1887)


1888 Obituary [1]

CHARLES HENRY WARING was born at Plas-y-velin, the residence of his father, Mr. Elijah Waring, near Neath, Glamorganshire, on the 12th of December, 1818.

In 1832 he became a pupil of the late Mr. Joseph Tregelles Price, of the Neath Abbey Ironworks and Collieries, and went through the usual educational routine of a mechanical engineer from the pattern shop to the drawing-office. He also learnt surveying, and for some time carried on the plans of the Neath Abbey Coal Company's Collieries ; and in 1835 he was severely burnt in an explosion of gas occurring while he was measuring a part of one of the collieries which had not been worked for some weeks.

He attended generally to the conduct of the mines, the measurement of the work, and to the accounts both of the ironworks and the collieries ; and to the construction of steam engines, machinery, and iron ships, becoming thus acquainted with the mechanical, mining, and commercial branches of the businesses.

He was a managing partner of the Neath Abbey Engine-factory and Iron Shipbuilding works from 1845 to 1851, when he sold his interest in them ; and of the Abernant Iron Company's Iron Smelting Works in the Vale of Neath, from 1845 to 1868, when they were given up.

From 1854 to 1874 he was a managing partner of the Neath Abbey Coal Company's Collieries at Neath Abbey and the Vale of Neath, in the conduct and management of which he was engaged from 1834.

In addition to these works, he reported and advised on other collieries and coal properties and made valuations of collieries, ironworks, and mines. In the Exhibition of 1851 he had some coal-cutting machines ; but at that time he could get no one, except the late Mr. Charles May, M.Inst.C.E., to believe in the possibility of using compressed air for working machines for this purpose, so his patents wore allowed to expire.

In the Exhibition of 1862 he had a patent safety-lamp, which was honourably mentioned. By simple mechanical means the collier was prevented from opening it without extinguishing the light, and it was self-locking and required no key.

About the year 1874 he retired from active business, and spent the remainder of his life principally in literary pursuits. He was a well-known contributor to some of the lighter journals and magazines of the day. In this connection it is related that in one case he so closely imitated the style of Carlyle's Saner Besartus as to deceive at least one American editor, who republished the essay as from the pen of the Chelsea Philosopher himself.

Mr. Waring was elected an Associate on the 3rd of December, 1850, and was transferred to Member on the 7th of May, 1871.

He died, after a long and painful illness, on the 9th of September, 1887.


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