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British Industrial History

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John Brannis Birch

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John Brannis Birch (1813-1862)

Elder brother of Eugenius Birch

1840 John Brannis Birch of Redlion Place, Giltspur Street, became a graduate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]

1863 Obituary [2]

MR. JOHN BRANNIS BIRCH, F.G.S., was born in London in the year 1813.

He studied architecture and surveying under his father, and subsequently embraced the profession of a Civil Engineer.

At an early period of his career he entered into partnership with his brother, Eugenius Birch (M. Inst. C.E.), a connection which continued up to the period of the death of J. B. Birch.

He was actively engaged in works of varied character up to 1845, when he took a prominent part, as Engineer, in the parliamentary survey and sections of several important lines of railway.

He was then engaged in laying out the section of the East Indian Railway from Calcutta to Delhi, and with his brother designed the whole of the bridges and viaducts, and upon the material thus furnished the guarantee of the line was obtained.

He was subsequently employed in the construction of several works of interest and public utility, among which may be mentioned the Margate Pier, which was erected in 1853 from the designs and under the supervision of his brother and himself. It is remarkable as being a very early example of the complete adaptation of iron as the material in the formation of sea structures of that kind.

He was elected a Graduate of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1842, and in that capacity he remained to the time of his death.

He became a Fellow of the Geological Society in 1847, and a considerable portion of his leisure time was devoted to geological researches, in which he took an interest second only to that with which he regarded the works of the profession he had so happily chosen for himself, and which he for so many years earnestly and zealously pursued.

He died in London on the 17th of June, 1862, deeply regretted by all his connections and friends.

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