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British Industrial History

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James Noah Paxman

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James Noah Paxman (1831-1922) of Davey, Paxman and Davey

1831 Born at Colchester, the son of James Paxman, Senior.

1851 Living at South Street, Colchster: James Paxman (age 44 born Sweeling, Suffolk), Machine Maker and a Widower. With his son James Paxman (age 19 born Colchester), Machine Maker; daughter Esther Paxman (age 17 born Colchester), Housekeeper; son William Paxman (age 16 born Colchester), Servant; daughter Ellen Paxman (age 14 born Elmstead); daughter Elizabeth Paxman (age 12 born Elmstead); daughter Martha Paxman (age 7 born Colchester).[1]

1851 Worked with Charles Marriage at Catchpool and Son. [2]

1861 Living at High Street, Colchester (age 29 born Colchester), Mechanical Engineer and Widower. With sisters Eleanor (age 22) and Martha (age 17) plus servants [3]

1865 The firm of Davey, Paxman and Davey was founded by James Noah Paxman and the brothers Henry Davey and Charles Davey.

1871 Living at Bank Buildings, Colchester (age 39 born Colchester), Master Mechanical Engineer employing 49 men and 21 boys. Widower. Living with children Elizabeth (age 7) and William (age 4) plus a servant. [4]

1893 Referred to as Alderman James paxman J.P. of Hythe Hill House, Colchester [5]

1897 Held a jubilee party at his residence, Ibsted Hall. [6]

1898 Mayor of Colchester [7]

1922 Died aged 90.

1922 Obituary [8]

JAMES NOAH PAXMAN was born in Colchester in 1831, and was one of the founders of the firm of Davey, Paxman and Co.

His career began in 1851, when he assisted Mr. Charles Marriage in the management of the firm of Catchpool and Son.

In 1865 he entered into partnership with Messrs. C. M. and H. M. Davey at premises in the centre of Colchester, but the business grew so rapidly that in 1876 it was found necessary to provide a more extensive site, and the present Standard Iron Works was then erected.

Mr. Paxman carried out many improvements in engine and boiler construction, and took a prominent part in the manufacture of boilers of the locomotive type provided with steel fire-boxes, instead of Lowmoor iron or copper.

In the early "Sixties" he experimented with the dry-back flue and tubular boiler, and brought out his well-known "Economic" boiler.

The various productions from his works, including agricultural machinery, etc., won distinction at the shows of the Royal Agricultural Society and at other displays since 1869; and from 1880 the "Paxman" plant for the supply of electric current for lighting has been a feature at British Exhibitions.

During the War the works built engines for the Government and manufactured a quarter of a million shells.

Mr. Paxman devoted much time to the welfare of Colchester and the county of Essex. On two occasions he was Mayor of the Borough, and acted as High Sheriff during 1903-4.

His death took place at his residence in Bournemouth on 30th March 1922, in his ninety-first year.

He became a Member of this Institution, and he was a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1851 Census
  2. The Engineer 1922/04/07
  3. 1861 Census
  4. 1871 Census
  5. The Essex County Standard West Suffolk Gazette, and Eastern Counties Advertiser, Saturday, September 23, 1893
  6. The Engineer 1897/07/02
  7. The Times, Tuesday, Nov 01, 1898
  8. 1922 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries