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James Blackburn (1835-1882)
1882 Obituary 
. . . His father, Mr. Joshua Blackburn, was connected with the dyeing trade of Yorkshire, and the son was early employed in the same business. The knowledge of chemistry then acquired was of the utmost value to him in the profession of gas engineer which he subsequently adopted.
Mr. Blackburn afterwards spent some time in a lawyer’s office at Wakefield. Whilst there he continued to pursue his studies in chemistry, being a pupil of the Rev. Dr. Bowditch.
At the age of twenty-three he married, and shortly afterwards obtained the appointment of Engineer and Manager of the Gas Works at Droylsden, a suburb of Manchester. There he remained for seven and a-half years, or from March 1861 to December 1868, during which time he entirely reconstructed and greatly improved the works, and acted also as consulting engineer for several smaller works in the neighbourhood.
Besides attending closely to his duties at the gas works, he became a Director, and afterwards Secretary, of the Droylsden Educational Institute. . .