Life and Work of James Abernethy, C.E., F.R.S.E Past President of the Institution of
Civil Engineers by his son John S. Abernethy (1867)
The author has endeavoured to
give in the pages which follow a concise review of the long life of his late
father, and some account of the principal works designed and executed by him
in the United Kingdom and Abroad.
These, it is hoped, will long
remain as visible proofs of his industry and ability as a Harbour and Dock
Engineer now that his life has closed, but as in the opinion of many friends
he was scarcely so well known to his countrymen outside the pale of the
Civil Engineering Profession while living, as was justified by his works,
the author has felt himself called upon to record them in a Biography, and
thus enable all who so desire to read of him and of his professional career
at their leisure.
Moreover, the requisite
materials were easily procurable from numerous diaries, and more
particularly from a manuscript written shortly before his death, in which he
had himself noted down the incidents he could recall, and the chief works
upon which he had been engaged. With these valuable guides— easily followed
by one who had enjoyed a long and close association with him—the author has
been enabled to investigate and supplement from old Report and Letter Books
from 1840 to the date of his decease on March 8th, 1896, all that was
referred to in the manuscript, and to add such additional incidents as may
be of interest from the various sources of research, and so gradually to
accomplish the pleasant duty he had undertaken.
In conclusion, he trusts that
no further credit is claimed for the subject of the Biography than is justly
due to him. If his individuality is in any instance too prominent, there is
a total absence of intention of passing over any one whose name should have
been mentioned in connection with any of the particular engineering works
described. Any such error, either in commission or omission, would be a
course of regret.
4, Delahay Street,
Westminster, S.W. July, 1897.
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