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British Industrial History

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John Henry Harris

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John Henry Harris (1838-1894) of Worthington Pumping Engine Co, 114 Queen Victoria Street, London, E.C.

1894 Obituary [1]

JOHN HENRY HARRIS was born at Troy, in New York State, on 4th January 1838. His father removed to Springfield, Massachusetts, while he was a boy, and there his early education was acquired.

He served his time on board a clipper ship, and on the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 he offered himself as a volunteer in the United States Navy. His first appointment was that of acting master's mate, followed by that of acting ensign in 1862, and acting master in 1864. He participated in the naval engagements at Newport News, Port Hudson, Fort Fisher, and elsewhere.

After leaving the government service in 1866 he removed to Worcester, Massachusetts; and having decided to become a lawyer he entered the office of Senator George F. Hoar.

The routine of a lawyer's office proving uncongenial, he made arrangements with Messrs. George F. Blake and Co., of Boston, who were manufacturers of steam pumps, to go to New York and take charge of that branch of their business, which he managed successfully for several years.

After an attempt to carry on the manufacture of steam pumps at the Reading Hydraulic Works, in Reading, Pennsylvania, he became connected with the firm of Messrs. Henry R. Worthington, by whom he was sent to England, where he founded the Worthington Pumping Engine Co. in London.

He remained with this firm for about twelve years up to the time of his death, which took place at New York, after a long illness on 22nd January 1894, at the age of fifty-six.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1885, and was a member of several other scientific societies in Europe and America.

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