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British Industrial History

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Charles Tyson Yerkes

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Charles Tyson Yerkes (June 25, 1837 – December 29, 1905) was an American financier. He played a major part in developing mass-transit systems in Chicago and London.

1837 Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1900 August: Yerkes first became involved in the development of the London Underground railway system.

1901 Yerkes formed the Metropolitan District Electric Traction Company to electrify the District Railway and to build Lots Road Power Station[1].

1902 He established the Underground Electric Railways Company of London Ltd., which took over the Metropolitan District Electric Traction Company. This company took control of the Metropolitan District Railway and the unbuilt Baker Street and Waterloo Railway, Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway and Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway. Yerkes employed complex financial arrangements similar to those that he had used in America to raise the funds necessary to construct the new lines and electrify the District railway.

In one of his last great triumphs, Yerkes managed to thwart an attempt by J. P. Morgan to enter the London Underground field.

Member of the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland but described as a 'blantant scoundrel' [2]

1905 He died in New York aged 68, a victim of kidney disease, before any of his works on the London railways were completed but with construction well underway. Yerkes' fortune ended up being well less than one million dollars thanks to a vast number of debts.

Obituary [3]

On Friday last Mr Charles Tyson Yerkes died at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York. He was born at Philadelphia on June 25th, 1837 and . . . . [much more]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Key Dates in the History of London Transport, by Transport for London
  2. The Motoring Century – The Story of the RAC by Piers Brandon. Published 1997. ISBN 0 7475 3034 3
  3. The Engineer 05th January 1906