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William Henry Gauntlett

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William Henry Gauntlett (1823-1898) of W. H. Gauntlett

1861 Listed in Normanby as an Engineer. With his wife and son.[1]

1898 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM HENRY GAUNTLETT, eldest son of John Gauntlett, was born at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, on 4th February 1823.

After serving there a seven years' apprenticeship to Mr. James Porter, machine maker, he was for three years with Mr. Cambridge, agricultural implement maker, Market Lavington, Wiltshire, where be devoted much attention to agricultural machinery.

Next he spent four years with Messrs. Smith and Ashby, engineers, at Southampton, as a mechanical engineer and draughtsman; and then for a short time he was in London.

The next fifteen years till 1866 he managed in succession for Sir Bernhard Samuelson and Co. their Britannia Iron Works at Banbury for the manufacture of agricultural implements; their South Bank Iron Furnaces at Eston Junction near Middlesbrough, constructed under his direction; and their Newport Iron Works, Middlesbrough, at which the blast furnaces were on a much larger scale. These last works were designed by him and laid out and erected under his direction; they marked a decided advance in design and construction over previous erections, and many of the improvements embodied in them were adopted one by one in other works.

From 1866 he was occupied as a consulting engineer upon blast-furnace work, and contributed notably to the great advance made in the construction of blast furnaces and in the economy of iron smelting.

For about two years he had the management of the Furness Iron and Steel Works at Askam in Furness; and he took charge temporarily of the Glaisdale blast furnaces near Whitby in East Yorkshire.

In 1856 he invented the pyrometer known by his name, for the measurement of high temperatures; this speedily came into extensive use for blast furnaces, hot-blast stoves, boiler flues, bakers' ovens, and in many other industries.

In 1857 he attached to it an ingenious clockwork mechanism, whereby a continuous record of the temperature was traced upon a revolving drum. An adaptation of the latter mechanism was also made to a lower range of temperature, such as that of the atmosphere and of conservatories. Prior to the utilization of blast-furnace gas for heating the blast, he devised in 1863 a double hot-blast stove with two sets of internal pipes separated by a longitudinal dividing wall, in which was an aperture made to open and close; on each side of the wall was a separate fire-grate, and the two grates were fired alternately; when either was about to be fired, its flue was closed by the damper, and the passage through the dividing wall was opened, so that the smoke and gases from the firing passed through to the other fire, and, meeting there with a clear hot flame together with a sufficiency of air, were completely consumed; a considerable saving of fuel was thereby effected. In 1885 he devised a metallic thermometer with two nearly complete circles of two different metals soldered together; the difference between their expansion or contraction moved a pointer on a dial plate of 18 inches diameter, giving indications which could be plainly seen.

Having suffered from several attacks of influenza, he had a paralytic seizure in February 1898, from which he never fully recovered.

His death took place at Middlesbrough on 14th October 1898, at the age of seventy-five, as the result of a severe cold caught a week previously.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1867, and was also a Member of the Cleveland Institution of Engineers.

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