Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/840

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


NASMYTH.

82}

Standing Riggings, the Knots in Use, &c.," 1860, afterwards pub- lished under the title of " Seaman- ship," 2nd edit., 1862; 3rd edit., 1865 ; 4th edit., 1868 ; " Reports on Ocean Soundings and Tempera- ture" [in the Challenger'], printed by direction of the Lords of the Admiralty, 6 parts, 1874-5 ; " The Official Report of the Arctic Ex- pedition," 1876; and "Narrative of a Voyage to the Polar Sea during 1875-6 in H.M. ships AleH and Discovery y'* 2 vols., 1878. He mar- ried in 1858 Mary, daughter of the late Mr. W. G. Ghrant, of Ports- month.

NASMYTH, James, engineer, bom at Edinburgh, Aug. 19, 1808, son of Alexander Nasmyth, a well- known landscape painter. He was the youngest of a family of eleven, the eldefft being Patrick, also a weU-known artist. James gave very early evidence of a decided taste for mechanical pursuits. His education was importantly stimulated by the advantage of listening to the con- versation of many of t£e most intel- ligent men of science and artists who, in his early days, were constant visitors at his fath^s house. From his earliest years his love of me- chanism led to his acquiring the art of handling tools and perform- ing all the processes in practical mechanics with such effectiveness as to enable him to pay the fees for his attendance at the chemistry, mathematical, and natural philo- sophy classes at the Edinburgh University from the proceeds of the sale of steam-engine and other models which he constructed in a small workroom in his father's house. In 1829 he came to London to offer his services to Henry Mauds- lay, the founder of the celebrated engineer firm in London. The evi- dences of his efficiency as a work- man were so satisfactory to Mr. Maudslay that he appointed him his assistant in his beautiful private workshop. Here he remained till Mr. Maudsla/s death in 1831, after

which he returned to Edinburgh for the purpose of constructing a set of engineering tools, wherewith he commenced business in Man- chester in 1834. The extent of work that came to him soon out- grew the capacity of the premises. He then removed to a twelve-acre plot of land which he secured at Patricrof t, four miles west of Man- chester. This site was soon covered by an extensive series of workshops, and the establishment was named the Bridgewater Foundry, from the circumstance that the land in ques- tion was bounded by the Bridge- water Canal. Here many mecham- cal tools were invented and manu- factured which are now doing good service in the workshops of the world. Conspicuous among them is the Steam Hammer, which, since its invention in 1839, has had no small influence in advancing the progress of the mechanical arts. The appli- cation of his steam hammer as a means of driving piles for the foun- dation of bridges and great dock works was one of his most success- ful inventions, and was hailed as a most valuable agent in carrying out such great works as the High Level Bridge at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the Borders Bridge at Berwi<i-upon- Tweed, the Great Copper Dam for the Docks at Keyham, near Devon- port, with monster bridge, and many other such works at home and abroad. Among other inventions of his which have been extensively adopted owing to their high prac- tical utility may be named his Safety Foundry Ladle, by which the most ponderous castings can be poured with perfect security to the workmen ; a Suction Fan for effect- ing the perfect ventilation of mines ; a Reversible Rolling Mill in which all need of a fly-wheel is dispensed with ; a form of Steam Engine de- rived from that of his Steam Ham- mer, and now almost universally adopted for screw steam-ships ; and a Spherical Seated Safety Valve, which is absolutely perfect in its