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British Industrial History

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Frederick Molesworth Pfeil

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Frederick Molesworth Pfeil (1835-1873)

1835 Born in Southampton, son of John William Pfeil and Jane Templar Pfeil[1]

1873 Died in London[2]

1874 Obituary [3]

MR. FREDERIC MOLESWORTH PFEIL was born in the year 1835, and began his professional life at an early age, serving a regular pupilage from 1849 to 1852 under Mr. W. Colman, after which he was engaged for six years in various departments of engineering, amongst others, in the offices of Messrs. Porks and Co., mechanical engineers; in Woolwich Arsenal, on Government works of importance under Colonel Beatson, R.E., and Mr. D. Murray, C.E. ; and a similar appointment at Aldershot under Colonel Collinson, R.E.

He was also for short periods employed under Colonel Dawson, R.E., Tithe Commissioner; Messrs. Locke and Errington, MM. Inst. C.E., and in the office of the Director of Works of the Admiralty, under the late Mr. William Scamp, M. Inst. C.E.

He proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope about the year 1858, and was employed for nearly two years in the Colonial Engineer’s Department, Cape Colony, and afterwards for a like period as Engineer to the Mossel Bay Harbour Board, in charge of the construction of a landing pier and lighthouse on Cape St. Blaize.

He then established himself in general practice as a Civil Engineer at Port Elizabeth, and during that time designed and executed several public and private buildings, and other works; he also held the office of Engineer to the Commissioners for Improving the Port and Harbour of Arlgoa Bay, and acted as Inspecting and Superintending Engineer for Roads, Bridges, Lighthouses, &C., under the Public Works Department of the Cape.

On the occurrence of the commercial collapse at the Cape in 1869, Mr. Pfeil returned to England for a short time, and then accepted the position of Divisional Resident Engineer on the Madras railway, which he held for little more than three years, when his death occurred on the 20th of October, 1873, at the comparatively early age of thirty-eight years.

He joined the Institution as an Associate on the 6th of February, 1872.

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