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British Industrial History

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Edmund Olander

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Edmund Olander (1834-1900)


1901 Obituary [1]

EDNUND OLANDEE was born in Stockholm on the 1st February 1834. His father, who was a native of Sweden, settled in London when the subject of this notice was 14 months old.

At the age of 15 he was apprenticed for two years to Mr. Peter Borrie, of Dundee, Mechanical Engineer, Dundee, under whom he was principally engaged in the details of iron ship building. He was then engaged during 1851 and 1852 in assisting Count Adolphus Rosen in estimating for proposed railways in Sweden.

His next employment was in Denmark, on the Roeskilde and Korsor Railway as a draughtsman for Messrs. Fox and Henderson, the contractors, after which he was engaged under Messrs. Saunders and Mitchell, and Mr. W. Dempsey, on designs for the Madras Pier and other works.

From July, 1856, to January, 1861, he acted as an assistant to Sir John Fowler, Past-President (then Mr. Fowler), in general office work and as Resident Engineer on the Wash Estuary works at King’s Lynn.

He was subsequently employed from February to October, 1861, on the Penarth Docks and Railway, as Resident Engineer for the contractors, Messrs. Smith and Knight; from January, 1862, to March, 1867, as assistant to Mr. F. T. Turner on work chiefly in connection with the London, Chatham and Dover Railway; and from April to December, 1867, in collecting data for proposed works at Harwich, for Mr. Fogerty.

From 1868 to 1873 as an Executive Engineer in the Public Works Department of the Government of India, Mr. Olander had charge of the Hemavati Division, Hassan District, Mysore, the works of irrigation in which extended over an area of about 5,000 square miles, embracing the Rivers Cauvery and Hemavati; and during that time he had control of a staff of assistants, and was responsible for the preparation of designs and estimates for new works for submission to the Government. He also re-designed and constructed the Sriramadevara Dam and Head Works, the dam being 900 feet in length and supplying channels of an aggregate length of 46 miles. On those works upwards of 2,000 natives were employed. Mr. Olander was reported as having proved himself an able engineer and a painstaking, hard-working officer.

In 1874 Mr. Olander entered the service of the Great Western Railway Company, and was placed in charge of the Engineering Drawing Office at Paddington, where for 26 years he was actively engaged in the preparation of designs for a large number of bridges, viaducts, stations and other important works. During that long period he enjoyed the full confidence and esteem of the successive Chief Engineers of the line under whom he worked, as well as the regard of his colleagues and subordinates.

Mr. Olander did at his residence, 37 Willcott Road, Acton, on the 28th October, 1900, at the age of 66.

In 1880 he published a useful work entitled A new Method of Graphic Statics applied in the construction of Wrought Iron Girders, practically illustrated by a series of working drawings of modern type.” To the Transactions of the Society of Engineers, of which he was a member, he contributed Papers On the Enclosure of Lands from the Sea, and the construction of Sea and other Banks,” and “Bridge Floors: their Design, Strength and Cost,” for which latter he was awarded a Bessemer Premium of books.

Mr. Olander was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 2nd February, 1875, was subsequently placed in the class of Associate Members, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 15th December, 189G.


1900 Obituary [2]

"...M. Inst. C.E., aged 67. He was for some twenty-three years in the service of the Great Western Railway Company, engaged in the preparation of designs for bridges, viaducts, and stations. In his youth Mr. Olander was employed in the office of Sir John Fowler. Subsequently he was one of the thirty engineer sent out to India in 1863 by the Government.

On his return he took service with the Great Western Railway Company. He was the author of a book, at one time well· known, "Graphic Strains..." [More]


1900 Obituary.[3]



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