Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Joseph Curtis

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William Joseph Curtis (1802-1875), civil engineer, advocate of horse-drawn street trams.

1802 Born in Islington[1]

1839 Married Martha Pryor in Cambridge[2]

c.1842 In Southwark[3]

c.1843 In Dumfries[4]

c.1845 In Walworth, Surrey[5]

1852 He took out the first of what would be several patents on a wide range of technologies, this one on improvements in the formation of tramroads or railroads, and carriages that run thereon.[6]

1855 William Joseph Curtis saw a demonstration of the American-style horse-drawn tram at the 1855 Paris Exhibition.[7]

1856 He took out a patent[8] for a tramcar with two sets of wheels - one flanged to run on grooved lines and one flat to run on paved roads; the type to be used could be selected as needed. Trams of this type were put to use on the dock road in Liverpool in 1859.

c.1860 Curtis had a tramway running in Islington.

1861 A civil engineer, living in Islington with Martha Rebecca Curtis 44, Martha Elizth Curtis 19, Matilda Amelia Curtis 18, Louisa Emma Curtis 18, Thomas Geo Ambrey Curtis 16, Frank Ford Curtis 14, Mary Anne Curtis 4[9]

1871 Civil engineer, living in Islington[10]

1875 He died at 11 Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, Holloway.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. BMD
  3. Birth of his first child
  4. Birth of 2 of his children
  5. Birth of his first son
  6. London Gazette 21 December 1852
  7. Biography of George Francis Train, ODNB
  8. London Gazette 9 Sept 1856
  9. 1861 census
  10. 1871 census