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John Waddington Mann

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John Waddington Mann (1847-1894).

1894 Obituary [1]

JOHN WADDINGTON MANN was born on the 1st of December, 1847, at York, where his father was in practice as a solicitor.

After being educated at St. Peter's College in that city, he served a pupilage in the works of the North Eastern Railway Company under the then Locomotive Superintendent, the late Edward Fletcher.

Having devoted some years to railway work on that system, he entered in 1873 the shops of Robert Napier and Sons, of Glasgow, for the purpose of gaining some practical knowledge of marine engineering. That knowledge he subsequently improved by serving as an engineer on the Cape Mail steamers of Donald Currie and Co, and in due course he obtained a certificate of competency from the Board of Trade.

Deciding to return to railway work, Mr. Mann again joined in 1876 the North Eastern Company as an assistant to his old master, Mr. Fletcher, at Gateshead-on-Tyne. There he remained until 1880, when he was appointed Locomotive Superintendent to the Eastern and Midlands Railway Company, for which he designed the rolling-stock and erected the works at Melton Constable.

After holding that post for four years a change in the control of the line ensued and Mr. Mann left the Company's service. He was then for a time out of employment until in 1886 he obtained the appointment of Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Swedish and Norwegian Railway at that time in course of construction.

For that Company he designed a special class of locomotive and wagon suitable for the difficult and exceptional nature of the traffic. For some years Mr. Mann resided at Lulea, at the head of the Gulf of Bothnia, and it will be readily understood that the conduct of so northerly a line during the rigour of an arctic winter entailed considerable anxiety and constant watchfulness.

From the Arctic Circle to the neighbourhood of the Equator was the next change, Mr. Mann being appointed in June, 1892, Locomotive Superintendent and Resident Engineer to the Recife and Sao Francisco Pernambuco Railway Company.

Though of slight build and by no means robust, he appeared to enjoy in Brazil equally good health to that in the north of Sweden. Unfortunately, in February, 1894, he suddenly took a chill when walking through a tunnel; yellow fever supervened and he died on the 16th of that month after an illness of only six days.

Mr. Mann was an engineer of considerable ability and sound practical knowledge. His trustworthiness and high sense of duty, combined with modesty and straightforwardness, gained for him the regard and respect of those whom he served and of all who acted under him. A man of action rather than of speech, he required to be well known before his ability obtained due recognition, but his pleasant manner and generous disposition were at all times apparent.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 5th of April, 1887.

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