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John Carruthers

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John Carruthers (1836-1914)

Presumably one of the partners in Carruthers and Wilson

1914 Obituary [1]

JOHN CARRUTHERS was born in Inverness on the 20th June, 1836. He was a son of the late Mr. Robert Carruthers, LL.D., and was educated at Christ’s Hospital and the Inverness Academy.

He began his professional career under Mr. Roswell G. Benedict, then Chief Engineer of the Great Western Railway of Canada, and subsequently was employed on the survey and construction of railways in Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota, the Riga-Dunaburg line in Russia, and the construction of the Mauritius railways, where he occupied the position of Assistant Chief Engineer.

After a short stay in Egypt, he went to India in 1866 as Engineer to the Madras Irrigation and Canal Company, for whom he designed and carried out departmentally all the work on the Dhoor section of the main canal.

On the completion of this work he returned to England, and shortly afterwards, in 1871, was appointed Chief Engineer to the Government of New Zealand, which had then determined to construct an extensive system of construction, to design all the bridges, tunnels, and other works, to determine the main alignment of over 1,000 miles of railway and many miles of canals for the goldfields, and practically to train a staff of engineers from among the youth of the Colony. Among other interesting works constructed in New Zealand was an incline over the Eimutaka Range worked with Fell engines.

He returned to England early in 1879, and commenced to practise on his own account, being still connected with the New Zealtmd Government as their Consulting Engineer in London, at first in conjunction with Messrs. Hemans, Falkiner and Tancred, and afterwards alone.

In 1883 Mr. Carruthers was consulted by the Government of Venezuela in regard to the survey and construction of a milway from Puerto Cabello to Valencia. The line was laid out in accordance with his directions, and included an incline through the Trincharas Gorge, designed on the Abt system, which he described in a Paper read before The Institution in 1888. The company formed in London for the construction of this railway wished Mr. Carruthers to prove his confidence in his estimate of the cost by taking part in the contract for its construction, which he did, and as managing partner in Venezuela, completed the line in accordance with the concession. In 1889 Nr. Carruthers went to the Argentine Republic to make an estimate for the construction of the Cordoba and North Western railway, and afterwards carried out the work as Manager for the contractors.

On the completion of this work in 1891, Mr. Carruthers returned to London and resumed his practice, receiving again the appointment of Consulting Engineer to the New Zealand Government, which he retained until his death.

In 1893 he was appointed Consulting Engineer to the West Australian Government, in which capacity he advised. on the design and construction of the Coolgardie Water Supply and other works. From 1903, he practised in conjunction with Mr. J. D. Elliot and his son, Mr. F. Gilbert Carruthers.

He died on the 2nd September, 1914, aged 78.

Mr. Carruthers was elected an Associate of The Institution on the 9th January, 1866, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 16th May, 1871.

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