Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Henry Dircks

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Henry Dircks FRSE FCS (26 August 1806 – 17 September 1873) was a British engineer.

He is considered to have been the main designer of the projection technique known as Pepper's Ghost in 1858 (named after John Henry Pepper, who implemented a working version of the device in 1862).

Dircks was born in Liverpool on 26 August 1806. He was apprenticed to a mercantile firm and spent much of his free time studying practical mechanics, chemistry, and literature. In 1837 he became a life member of the British Association.

He became a practical engineer, conducting railway, canal, and mining works, before progressing to the role of consulting engineer. He continued to investigate technologies and invent new devices, taking out several patents between 1840 and 1857.

Dircks died in Brighton on 17 September 1873.

The above information is extracred from the Wikipedia entry, accessed 7 March 2020.

1865 Henry Dircks, Engineer, 16 Bucklersbury, London E.C.[1]

Member of the Society of Engineers


1875 Obituary[2]

Mr. Dircks will be long and well remembered in connection with his contributions to the literature of the profession and of science generally, his latest and chief work being The Life of the Marquis of Worcester. Of a keen and observant mind, and a kindly and genial temperment, his death could not fail to prove a source of regret to all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.



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