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British Industrial History

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Francis Bolton

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Colonel Sir Francis John Bolton (1831–1887), army officer and electrical engineer

1831 Born the son of Dr Thomas Wilson Bolton, surgeon, of London and Manchester.

Enlisted in the Royal Artillery and soon became a non-commissioned officer.

1857 Commissioned ensign in the Gold Coast artillery corps

1858 Promoted lieutenant

1860 Promoted Captain in 12th (East Suffolk) regiment.

Co-operated with Captain P. H. Colomb RN, in developing a system of visual signalling.

Bolton and Colomb compiled the "Army and Navy Signal Book".

1866 Married Julia Maria Mathews

1867-9 Deputy assistant quartermaster-general and assistant instructor in visual signalling at the School of Military Engineering, Chatham,

He was made an unattached major as a reward for his services to army signalling

1871 Bolton was largely instrumental in founding the Society of Telegraph Engineers, of which he became honorary secretary.

1871 Appointed by the Board of Trade under the Metropolitan Water Act as water examiner to the metropolis

1877 promoted lieutenant-colonel

1881 Retired from the army with the honorary rank of colonel

Designed a beautiful display of coloured fountains and electric lights at the exhibitions at South Kensington from 1883 to 1886

1884 Knighted.

1884 Author of a handbook on the "London Water Supply"

1887 Bolton died on 5 January 1887 at the Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth, Hampshire.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of Sir Francis John Bolton, ODNB