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Aspinall, Sir John Audley Frederick (1851–1937), mechanical engineer, was born in Liverpool on 25 August 1851, the second of three sons (there was also a daughter) of John Bridge Aspinall QC (1818–1886), who was latterly the recorder of the city of Liverpool, and his wife, ...

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Bamford, Joseph Cyril (1916–2001), engineer and businessman, was born on 21 June 1916 at The Parks, New Road, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, the son of Cyril Joseph Bamford, agricultural engineer, and his wife, Dolores Alice, née Turner. His family controlled and managed a long-established farm machinery business. The company, which manufactured balers and other equipment, had been started by his great-great-grandfather in 1812. He was brought up a Roman Catholic. After education at ...

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Bramwell, Sir Frederick Joseph, baronet (1818–1903), mechanical engineer, was born on 7 March 1818 in Finch Lane, Cornhill, City of London. He was the third son of George Bramwell, a partner in the firm of Dorrien & Co., bankers, of Finch Lane. His mother was ...

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G. P. Bulman

revised by Anita McConnell

Buchanan, Sir John Scoular (1883–1966), aeronautical engineer, was born at Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, on 23 November 1883, the son of Joseph Buchanan, a steel smelter, and his wife, Janet M. Scoular Hogg. They also had another son and a daughter who emigrated to Canada...

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H. M. Ross

revised by John Bosnell

Clerk, Sir Dugald (1854–1932), mechanical engineer, was born at Glasgow on 31 March 1854, the eldest son of Donald Clerk, machinist, of Glasgow, and his wife, Martha Symington, second daughter of John Brown, of Glasgow. He was about fifteen years old when he began his training in the drawing office of ...

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Cockerell, Sir Christopher Sydney (1910–1999), electronic and mechanical engineer, was born at Wayside, Cavendish Avenue, Cambridge, on 4 June 1910, the only son in the family of one son and two daughters of Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell (1867–1962), the distinguished director of the ...

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Denly, Albert William [Bert] (1900–1989), motorcycle racer and motor engineer, was born in Wisley, Surrey, on 1 June 1900, the only son of James Denly (d. 1918), a bricklayer's labourer on the Wisley estate, and his wife, Ellen, née Woolger (1865/6–1920). Aged fourteen he left the local village school to become an apprentice to the butcher in ...

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Dibnah, Frederick [Fred] (1938–2004), steeplejack and television presenter, was born at 7 Alfred Street, Bolton, on 29 April 1938, the son of Frank Dibnah, a bleacher's beetler, and his wife, Betsy, later Bessie, née Travis, a gasworks charwoman. He grew up watching steam trains on the railway line that ran behind the family's terraced house and marvelled at the tall industrial chimney-stacks across the skyline, which he enjoyed sketching. His fascination with steam power was furthered by seeing various contraptions, pulleys, and belts on visits to the bleach factory where his father worked....

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Dowty, Sir George Herbert (1901–1975), aeronautical engineer and industrialist, was born on 27 April 1901 at Pershore, Worcestershire, the son of William Dowty, a druggist and chemist in Pershore, and his wife, Laura Masters. He was the elder of twin boys by half an hour and the seventh son in the family. The twins were educated in a small private school in ...

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Drebbel, Cornelis (1572–1633), inventor and mechanical engineer, was born in Alkmaar in the Netherlands, the son of Jacob Janszoon Drebbel (d. 1591). His father, whose family name was originally Dremmel, was a well-to-do burgher of Alkmaar, a town in the province of ...

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Durrant, Albert Arthur Molteno [Bill] (1898–1984), mechanical engineer and vehicle designer, was born at Wellington Lodge, Gowlett Road, East Dulwich, London, on 11 September 1898, the only child of Arthur Isaac Durrant (1864–1939), staff clerk in the Office of Works, and his wife, ...

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Fedden, Sir (Alfred Hubert) Roy (1885–1973), aeronautical engineer, was born in Stoke Bishop, Bristol, on 6 June 1885, the youngest of three sons (there were no daughters) of Henry Fedden, a Bristol sugar merchant, of St Mary's, Stoke Bishop, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth...

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Gooch, Sir Daniel, first baronet (1816–1889), railway engineer and executive, was born at Bedlington, Northumberland, on 24 August 1816, the third son of John Gooch (1763–1833) and his wife, Anna Longridge (1783–1863). His father was the cashier and bookkeeper at the Bedlington ironworks, where ...

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Gough, Herbert John (1890–1965), mechanical engineer and expert on metal fatigue, was born in Bermondsey, London, on 26 April 1890, the second son of Henry James Gough, a civil servant in the Post Office, and his wife, Mary Anne Gillis. Gough attended the ...

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Hancock, Walter (1799–1852), engineer and inventor of steam carriages, was born on 16 June 1799, the sixth son of James Hancock, a timber merchant and cabinet-maker at Marlborough, Wiltshire. Thomas Hancock (1786–1865), who developed the manufacture of rubber, was his brother. After serving an apprenticeship to a watchmaker and jeweller in ...

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Heathcoat, John (1783–1861), inventor of the bobbin net machine and lace manufacturer, was born at Duffield, near Derby, on 7 August 1783, the son of Francis Heathcote (or Heathcoat), a farmer and grazier, and his wife Elizabeth née Burton. The family moved to ...

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Issigonis, Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine (1906–1988), motor engineer and designer, was born on 18 November 1906 in Smyrna, Turkey, the only child of Constantine Issigonis (1872–1923), a marine engineer resident in Smyrna who was of Greek origin but had British citizenship, and his wife, ...

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Kennedy, Sir Alexander Blackie William (1847–1928), mechanical and electrical engineer, born at 20 Stepney Green, Stepney, London, on 17 March 1847, was the eldest son of John Kennedy, Congregational minister, and his wife, Helen Stodart, daughter of Alexander Blackie, bank manager, of Aberdeen...

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King, Charles Spencer [Spen] (1925–2010), automotive engineer, was born on 26 March 1925 at Home Farm House, Shackleford, Surrey, the only son of Charles Francis King, solicitor, and his wife, Muriel Amy, née Wilks. He was educated at Haileybury School, Hertfordshire. In 1942 he entered an apprenticeship with ...

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Maudslay, Henry (1771–1831), mechanical engineer, was born on 22 August 1771 at Woolwich, the son of Henry Maudslay (sometimes Maudsley; d. c.1780) who was a native of Clapham in Yorkshire who had served in the Royal Artillery and had become a workman at the ...