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British Industrial History

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Arthur Samuel Hamand

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Arthur Samuel Hamand (c1847-1888)

1889 Obituary [1]

ARTHUR SAMUEL HAMAND was one of Mr. Brunel’s last pupils, having been taken on the works of the Cornwall Railway, under H. S. Bush, in 1858, for a three years’ term.

On Mr. Brunel’s death Mr. Hamand was transferred to Mr. Brereton, and after the expiry of his pupilage was by that gentleman employed on the extension of the Cornwall line to Falmouth.

Mr. Hamand then came to London, and after a temporary engagement under George Berkley, became associated with Galbraith and Tolme, for whom he took charge, as Resident Engineer, of the Newport Pagnall, the Garstang and Knot End, the Potteries, Shrewsbury and North Wales, and the Harborne railways.

In 1867 Mr. Hamand began practice on his own account in Birmingham, and, both alone and in conjunction with J. H. Tolme, acted as engineer to various railway and tramway companies, among them the Whitby, Redcar, and Middlesborough Union, the Halesowen and Bromsgrove, the Birmingham Tramways, and the Staffordshire Extension Tramway. He also had works in Sussex and Hampshire, especially in regard to Pagham Harbour, and it was in connection with the sluices on the east side of Selsey Bill that he lost his life.

He was of an eccentric, or rather original, turn of mind, fond of doing things in different ways to others. Among his odd customs was one of bathing at night in the sea. He was a powerful swimmer, and had for long indulged safely in this unusual habit; but on the 27th of September, 1888, after inspecting some works at Pagham, he left his hotel at about 7 o’clock in the evening, and thereafter was never heard of, nor his body found. The coastguard discovered his clothes the next morning on the sands at Pagham, and it is surmised that he was seized with cramp while swimming, His career was thus cut short at the comparatively early age of forty-seven.

Mr. Hamand was of humble origin, but possessed remarkable natural powers, by the exercise of which he raised himself to a station above that in which he was born. He was an excellent engineer, and always based his works, however small, on scientific principles. Under the pseudonym of “Hercules,” he wrote a work on “British Railways and Canals and Government Control,” which has been largely quoted. In addition to speaking five languages besides his own, he was a most accomplished musician, being especially skilful on the organ. His ingenuity was much exercised in invention, although he never took the trouble to push his patents. He invented a vacuum brake, a new form of sluice door, a floating breakwater, a secondary battery, a fishplate, an improved locomotive, a double cigar-hulled steamer, a new kind of organ-valve, &c. He was an enthusiastic photographer, and was engaged in working out correct figures for the systematic exposure of the plate. He also was a good botanist.

Mr. Hamand was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 24th of May, 1870, and was transferred to Member on the 6th of May, 1873.

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