Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Richard Muirhead

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Richard Muirhead (c1842-1930)

of Drake and Muirhead, Maidstone.

1930 Obituary [1]

RICHARD MUIRHEAD was articled to the late Edward Hayes, Sen., of the Watling Works, Stony Stratford, and subsequently entered the Wolverton works of the London and North Western Railway.

After further experience with Messrs. John Penn and Son of Greenwich he was appointed, in 1868, engineering instructor and demonstrator of mechanics at Farnah Hall Training College for engineers, near Derby. While there he experimented for several years with steam-carriages and succeeded in conveying ten passengers at a good speed over the loose gravelly private roads in the park.

Largely as a consequence of these experiments he was appointed by the Government of India as engineer and assistant superintendent of the Government steam road train service then being organized by Colonel Crompton, the engines of which, called "road steamers," ran on solid india-rubber tyres.

On the completion of this service he returned to England and entered business as manufacturing engineer.

Twenty-one years later he commenced practice as a consulting engineer, in which capacity he was employed by the Government on several occasions.

Mr. Muirhead was one of the founders of the Royal Automobile Club and a pioneer and authority in automobile engineering. He held a great many patents and he was particularly interested in the use of steam-engines and elastic tyres for heavy vehicles.

His death occurred on 31st July 1930 in his eighty-seventh year, and he was one of the oldest surviving Members of the Institution, having been elected a Member so long ago as 1876.

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