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British Industrial History

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Samuel Pontifex

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Samuel Pontifex (1816-1886)

1816 Born son of Russell Pontifex

c.1835 Apprenticed with his father at Shoe Lane for 7 years

c.1842 Joined the Chartered Gas Co where he worked for 5 years as mechanical inspector

c.1847 Worked for 6 years as resident engineer at Winchester Gas Co

c.1853 Superintendent of the mains and supply of the Great Central Gas Co including design and supervision of construction of the Romney and Whitchurch gas works

1858 Associate of the Inst of Civil Engineers[1]


1886 Obituary [2]

SAMUEL PONTIFEX, son of the late Mr. Russell Pontifex, was born about the year 1816.

After serving an apprenticeship of seven years to his father, who was in business as an engineer in Shoe Lane, London, he entered the service of the Chartered Gas Company, under whom he was for five years a Mechanical Inspector.

He was then for six years Resident Engineer of the Winchester Gas-company. He vacated that appointment to become Superintendent of the Mains and Supply Department of the Great Central Gas-company, with which undertaking his connection endured until its absorption by and amalgamation with the Chartered Gas company, now the Gas Light and Coke company.

Mr. Pontifex subsequently established himself in business in Coleman Street, E.C., as a Gas and Water Engineer, in conjunction with a partner; and the firm had a very extensive connection, having, in fact, contracts with almost every lighting authority in the Metropolis. The business of late years had received a very considerable extension outside of the Metropolis, and had become well known and honourably respected throughout the United Kingdom. In connection with suburban gas-companies, he took a very prominent part in the formation and establishment of the Barnet District Gas and Water company, of which he was to the last an energetic, zealous, and valuable member of the directorate.

He died at St. Leonards, on the 23rd of March, 1886. Mr. Pontifex was highly esteemed, and even affectionately regarded, as a genial and courteous gentleman, of high probity and honour, kindly and considerate, and ever ready to lend a helping hand, both in private and in business matters. To the day of 1lis death he evinced a keen and appreciative interest in everything relating to the gas-industry, with which he had been so long and honourably associated.

Mr. Pontifex was elected an Associate Member on the 7th of December, 1858.


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