1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Baker, Sir Benjamin

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BAKER, SIR BENJAMIN (1840-1907), English engineer, was born near Bath in 1840, and, after receiving his early training in a South Wales ironworks, became associated with Sir John Fowler in London. He took part in the construction of the Metropolitan railway (London), and in designing the cylindrical vessel in which Cleopatra's Needle, now standing on the Thames Embankment, London, was brought over from Egypt to England in 1877-1878. By this time he had already made himself an authority on bridge-construction, and shortly afterwards he was engaged on the work which made his reputation with the general public—the design and erection of the Forth Bridge. On the completion of this undertaking in 1890 he was made K.C.M.G., and in the same year the Royal Society recognized his scientific attainments by electing him one of its fellows. Twelve years later at the formal opening of the Assuan dam, for which he was consulting-engineer, he was created K.C.B. Sir Benjamin Baker, who also had a large share in the introduction of the system widely adopted in London of constructing intra-urban railways in deep tubular tunnels built up of cast iron segments, obtained an extremely large professional practice, ranging over almost every branch of civil engineering, and was more or less directly concerned with most of the great engineering achievements of his day. He was also the author of many papers on engineering subjects. He died at Pangbourne, Berks, on the 19th of May 1907.