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William Kinninmond Burton

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Professor William Kinninmond Burton (1856-1899)

1900 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM KlNNINMOND RURTON, eldest son of John Hill Burton, D.C.L. (Oxon.), was born at Edinburgh in May, 1856.

He was educated at the Edinburgh Collegiate School, and in 1873 was apprenticed for five years to Messrs. Brown Brothers, hydraulic and mechanical engineers, of the Rosebank Ironworks in that city.

During 1878 and 1879 he was chief draughtsman to that firm, and in the latter year he entered into partnership with his uncle, the late Mr. Cosmo Innes, in London.

Two years later he became Resident Engineer to the Sanitary Protection Association, of which Mr. Innes was Secretary.

In 1887 Mr. Burton was appointed Professor of Sanitary Engineering and Lecturer on Rivers, Docks and Harbours at the College of Engineering in the Imperial University of Tokio, Japan; and in the following year he became also Consulting Engineer on Water and Sewerage Works to the Japanese Home Department, in which capacity he designed works for many towns in Japan and Formosa.

Professor Burton died in Tokio on the 5th August, 1899. He was an original and independent worker, of great energy and industry. In conjunction with Professor John Milne, F.R.S., he wrote the well-known account of the great earthquake in Japan in 1891. He was an ardent photographer, and after the age of thirty made himself proficient in the Japanese language.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 5th Bay, 1891. In 1893 he contributed to the Proceedings a Paper on “Regulating the Rate of Filtration through Sand.” He also published works on “Water Supply of Towns,” “Modern Photography,” and “Optics for Photographers.”

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