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Ralph Dodd (c1755-1822) was a late 18th century engineer primarily known for his attempt, and ultimate failure to produce a tunnel underneath the Thames.
1756 Born in South or North Shields, one of three known sons of Alexander Dodd.
After some education in practical mechanics he studied at the Royal Academy for about five years, and in the 1780s, like his brother Robert Dodd, attempted to make a living from painting.
1778 February 16th. Married Fanny Lambert and they had three sons and a daughter survived him.
1794 Surveyed and proposed the Newcastle-Carlisle-Maryport Canal.
1794 Involved in the trial of an excavating machine on the Grand Junction Canal near Hayes. Also carried out a survey of the River Wear; a succession of reports followed relating to canals and harbours in the north-east of England.
He promoted tunnels beneath the Tyne and the Thames from Gravesend to Tilbury. Work began on the latter in 1799 but was abandoned in 1802.
1802 Dismissed from the Grand Surrey Canal, together with his son, George
1804 Became involved in the establishment of the South London, West Middlesex, East London, and Kent waterworks companies.
1822 April 11th. Died at Cheltenham age 67, 'long known as an eminent engineer and architect'