Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,927 pages of information and 228,821 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Francis Humphrys (1806-1841)
1839 Tendered to supply the engines for the SS Great Britain assuming they would be built by Hall's; Brunel suspected that Humphry's costings were wrong (he had not consulted Hall's before submitting his tender) and his health was suspect; the novelty of the trunk engine design added to Brunel's disquiet. Nevertheless the company accepted his tender. Hall's declined to tool-up for a one-off engine so the Great Western Steamship Co set up its own engine works. Humphrys encountered problems in making the paddle shaft from wrought iron and instead sought advice from James Nasmyth, of Nasmyth, Gaskell and Co, who devised a steam hammer in order to make the shaft from cast iron
1841 Died of disease similar to that which had killed his second son; left a widow and 4 young children. Had recently been appointed engineer to the Royal Mail Steamship Co and had resigned his position as engineer to the works of the Great Western Steamship Co. Several famous engineers, including Nasmyth, Brunel , Guppy, Claxton, etc contributed to a fund for the maintenance of his family