Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Sydney Smith (2)

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1847 Patent No. 11,711 (part).

Sydney Smith (1803-1882)[1], Engineer and Inventor, of Forest Grove House, Nottingham, of Sydney Smith

1803 Born in Worksworth, Derby. His father, Joseph, was a Civil Engineer and the builder of Cox's Lead Works and Shot Tower.

Educated at Repton Grammar School

1826 Moved to Nottingham

Inventions - Rotary Steam Engine; Rotary Stocking Frame; Self Acting Damper Regulator for regulating the draught of Boiler Furnaces; a Spring Safety Valve; a Magnetic Water Gauge for indicating the height of water in steam boilers and a portable gas apparatus for use in public and domestic situations.

One of the first Engineers to construct Barges made of forged plates for canal traffic. A portrait of Sydney Smith, and a drawing of the original pressure gauge invented by him, are to be seen by permission at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, St. James's Park, London.

1841 Sidney Smith 35, boiler manufacturer, lived in Radford, with Ann Smith 30, Joseph Smith 13, Samuel Smith 11, John Smith 7, Mary Smith 9, Elizabeth Smith 5, Isaac Smith 2[2]

1847 He invented the Steam Pressure Gauge, which led to the foundation of the firm. George Stephenson had one of these gauges attached to one of his own steam boilers to test it and then promoted its use.

1851 Sydney Smith 47, patent indicator maker, employing 13 men, lived in Hyson Green with Ann Smith 45, Joseph Smith 23, patent indicator maker, Samuel Smith 21, patent indicator maker, John Smith 16, patent indicator maker, Isaac Smith 11, William Smith 9, Mary Ann Smith 19, `Elizabeth Smith 14[3]

1854 of Hyson Green Works, patent on Improvements in apparatus for insuring the correct action of the safety valve of steam boilers, and for regulating the action of the dampers of steam-boilers[4]

In the early years of the business two of his eldest sons Joseph and Samuel greatly helped their father in testing his many inventions, and he soon employed his eldest sons in turn.

1861 Sydney Smith 58, engineer employing 15 men and 5 boys, widower, lived in Sherwood with Samuel Smith 30, Elizabeth Smith 22, Isaac Smith 20, William Smith 18[5]

1862 Pressure and vacuum gauges (patented by Sydney Smith)

1862 The Firm’s name was changed to Smith Brothers and Co

1864 Sydney retired from the business, handing it onto four of his sons, Joseph, Samuel, Isaac and William, and also to his son-in-law, John Miller.

1865 Married Charlotte Cockayne in Derby[6]

1871 Sidney Smith 63, retired engineer, lived in Sherwood with Charlotte Smith 62[7]

1882 Death of Sydney Smith

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1882/03/31
  2. 1841 census
  3. 1851 census
  4. London Gazette 23 July 1858
  5. 1861 census
  6. Parish records
  7. 1871 census