Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William S. Hudson

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William Smith Hudson of the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Co, Paterson, USA

1810 Born on the outskirts of Derby, England, where his parents owned a farm.

Educated at the Quaker School, after which he learned the grocery business.

Employed at the Newcastle works of Robert Stephenson and Co. Another source states that he was employed by George Stephenson in Nottingham.

c.1835 Emigrated to the USA, and gained a position as a locomotive engineer (driver) with the Troy and Saratoga Railroad.

c.1838-1849 Engineer to the Auburn State Prison; during this period he was also chief engineer to the firm of Dennis, Wood and Russell of Auburn, which built several locomotives.

1849 Became Master Mechanic of the Attica & Buffalo RR.

1852 Accepted a position as the superintendent of the Rogers Locomotive Works (Rogers, Ketchum and Grosvenor).

1856 Appointed Superintendent of the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Co., where he remained until his death.[1]

Described as a very quiet, unassuming man, an excellent skilled engineer and mechanic. He took out dozens of patents.

1881 Died in USA.

For information on improvements introduced by Hudson at Rogers Locomotive and Machine Co, see the 1975 Paper by Ralph J. Leo[2]. As well as imprrovements in locomotive design, Hudson concerned himself with production engineering, designing, for example, a specialised cylinder boring mill, which was produced by William Sellers and Co.

See obituary in 'American Machinist' [3], from which some of the foregoing information is drawn.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'A History of the American Locomotive: Its Development, 1830-1880' By John H. White, Jr. Dover Publications,
  2. [2] 'An Examination of the Technology that evolved from the Rogers Locomotive & Machine Company, Paterson, NJ' by Ralph J. Leo, 1975
  3. [3] American Machinist, Vol 4, 20 Aug 1881