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Samuel Barton Worthington

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Samuel Barton Worthington (1820-1915)

1839 S. Barton Worthington, studying to be a civil engineer, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]

1854 Birth of son William Barton Worthington.

c1857 Birth of son Edgar Worthington

1860 Samuel Barton Worthington, Engineer, London and North Western Railway, Lancaster.[2]

1865 'Novel Use of Steel.— At the last meeting of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, Mr. S. B. Worthington, C.E, announced that he had lately constructed a swing bridge for carrying a railway over the Sankey Canal, in which the girders are made of Bessemer steel plates. The object of using steel instead of wrought iron was to reduce the weight of the girders. The girders are four in number, about fifty-six feet long, with bearings varying from thirty to forty feet, and two feet deep. They were manufactured by Messrs. Benjamin Hick and Sons, of Bolton, from steel plates made by the Bolton Steel and Iron Works; and were tested with loads of a ton to the foot, or more than double the weight which they could possibly be called upon to bear. The deflection varied from 1/4-inch to an inch, according to the length of the girder, and there was no permanent set on removal of the testing load. The plates used varied from 1/2-inch to 7-16-inch in thickness ; and the average tensile strength of a considerable number of plates tested was upwards of 36 tons to a square Inch. The weight of the girders was about 5/8ths of the weights which they would have been if wrought iron had been used. The contract for this bridge was made in November, 1863, and the bridge was erected during the past summer. Mr. Worthington also exhibited a piece of cast iron lately taken out of the canal. Its exterior, from one-eighth to a quarter of an inch in depth, was so soft as to be easily cut with a dull knife. From the form of the casting he thought it very probable that it had not been in the the canal more than five or six years. He stated that the water of the canal was strongly impregnated with liquids, discharged from the alkali works in the neighbourhood of St. Helens.' [3]

1915 February 8th. Died.[4]

1915 Obituary [5]

SAMUEL BARTON WORTHINGTON was born at Stockport on 14th December 1820.

His father having removed to Manchester, he was educated at the private schools of the Rev. Edward Hawkes, M.A., and the Rev. J. R. Beard, D.D., in that city. At the former he acquired a knowledge of the classics which was a pleasure to him through life, and at the latter a knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, and geology, not often to be obtained in the schools of that day.

In September 1836 he was articled to Joseph Locke, George Stephenson's pupil and assistant, who very soon afterwards removed from Liverpool to London. During his pupilage he was engaged upon preliminary surveys and contract drawings and designs for many of the early railways for which Locke was engineer or otherwise interested, including the Lancaster and Preston, London and Southampton, Eastern Counties, Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock, Grand Junction, Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton, Stone and Rugeley, Preston and Wyre, Southampton to Gosport, and Carlisle to Glasgow.

On 19th August 1840 he accompanied Mr. Locke on his journey from Southampton via Havre and the River Seine to Paris to start the works of the Paris and Rouen Railway. The party consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Locke, Mr. (afterwards Sir William) and Mrs. Tite, Mr. Reed, Secretary of the London and Southampton Railway (afterwards Manager of the Paris, Rouen and Havre Railway), G. Neumann (Locke's pupil, to be resident engineer on the Paris and Rouen Railway), and himself. He was employed on the construction of the Paris and Rouen Railway until its opening on 1st May 1843, after which he was for about a year one of the three resident district engineers in charge of the line.

In June 1844 Locke recalled him to England to take up the position of resident engineer on the construction of the southern half of the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway, for which Locke and Errington were the engineers. On the opening of the line for traffic, from Lancaster to Kendal on 17th September 1846, and to Carlisle on 22nd December 1846, he became engineer to the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway Co., with charge of the line and rolling stock, a position which he held until the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway was leased by the London and North Western Railway Co. in 1839.

The construction of the Caledonian Railway from Carlisle to Glasgow, on the original trial levels of which he had been engaged while still a pupil, was in 1847 approaching completion, and it is of interest to note that on 27th November of that year he travelled by a special express from London to Beattock (the northern end of the open line of the Caledonian), driving the engine himself from Lancaster to Carlisle. The time from Preston to Carlisle (90 miles) was 2 hours 31 minutes. While engineer to the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway Co. he had also been engineer to the Carlisle Joint Station Committee.

On the absorption of the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway Co. he was appointed engineer of the northern division of the London and North Western Railway, and in 1863 removed to Manchester, This position he held until his retirement from the railway service in 1885.

The little dwarf engine "Carlisle," built by George England and Co., London, which, with the little four-wheeled inspection saloon, was such a familiar sight on the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway and the northern division of the L. and N. W. R. for many years, was broken up on his retirement.

It is worth noting that on 1st July 1837, young Worthington, who had then completed ten months of his pupilage, rode on the "Zamiel," the first of the two engines which took the directors' train from Warrington to Birmingham prior to the opening of the line for public traffic on 4th July. On the opening day he rode on the footplate of the engine drawing the directors' train from Birmingham to Liverpool with Locke, who himself drove the engine for part of the journey, attaining a speed of 45 miles per hour for a short distance. He also rode on the first engine which took a train through the Woodhead Tunnel of the Manchester and Sheffield Railway, of which Locke was engineer, on 22nd December 1845.

After his retirement from the charge of the northern division of the L. and N. W. R. in 1885, he practised for some years as a consulting engineer in Manchester, and for nine years devoted his valuable experience and sound common sense to the service of his fellow-citizens as a Member of the Corporation of the City of Manchester.

His death took place at his residence at Bowdon, Cheshire, on 8th February 1915, at the age of 94. He was elected a Member of this Institution in 1860.

He was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

1915 Obituary [6]

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