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The Life of Sir William Fairbairn, Bart
Appendix - List of Sir William Fairbairn's Published Works and Papers

In this Appendix is given a list, arranged in chronological order, of the various books, papers, and memoirs published by Sir William Fairbairn.

The list is complete so far as the editor has been able to ascertain; but it is quite possible that, considering the large mass of his writings, and the great variety of societies and publications to which he communicated them, some few may have escaped attention.

The more important writings in the list have been noticed in the biography, and reference is given, in each item, to the place where the notice will be found. In other cases a few words of explanation are appended.


' Remarks on Canal Navigation, illustrative of the advantages of the use of Steam as a Moving Power on Canals.' 8vo. pp. 93. With five plates. London: Longmans & Co. See Chap. IX., p. 135.


' Reservoirs on the River Bann, in the county of Down, Ireland, for more effectually supplying the Mills with Water.' (Report) Tract, 4to. pp. 23. With large map. Manchester: Robinson.

See Chap. X., p. 158.


' An Experimental Enquiry into the Strength and other Properties of Cast Iron from various parts of the United Kingdom,' pp. 103.

Kead March 7, 1837, before the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, and published in their ' Transactions,' vol. vi. 1842.

See Chap. X., p. 161.

' On the Strength and other Properties of Cast Iron obtained from the Hot and Cold Blast,' pp. 39.

Report presented September 1837 to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and printed in their ' General Report,' vol. vi. 1837.

See Chap. X., p. 102.


' An Experimental Enquiry into the Strength and other Properties of Anthracite Cast Iron,' being a continuation of a series of experiments on British irons from various parts of the United Kingdom,

Read November 1840 before the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, aud published in their ' Memoirs, vol. vi. 1842.

See Chap. XII., p. 180.

' On the Economy of raising "Water from Coal Mines on the Cornish Principle,' pp. 15. With two plates.

Transactions of the Manchester Geological Society, vol. i. 8vo. London : Simpkiu & Marshall. 1841.

See Chap. XII.! p. 180.


1 Description of a Woollen Factory erected in Turkey.'

Min. I'roc. Inst. C.E. vol. iii. 1843, p. 125.

See Chap. XL, p. 173.


' Experimental Researches into the Properties of the Iron Ores of Samakoff in Turkey,' &c. &c., pp. 20.

Min. I'roc. Instit. C.E. vol. iii. p. 225.

See Chap; XI., p. 173.

' On the Consumption of Fuel and the Prevention of Smoke,' pp. 20.

Report of the 14th Meeting of the British Association, September 1844, p. 100.

See Chap. XII., p. 183.

' Report of William Fairbairn, Esq., C.E., on the Construction of Fireproof Buildings,' with introductory remarks by Samuel Holme.

Also ' Report of Mr. W. Fairbairn and Mr. D. Bellhouse, on the cause of the Falling of Messrs. Radcliffe's Mill at Oldham.'

Tract, 8vo. pp. 39. Liverpool : Thomas Baines, Castle Street. 1844. See Chap. XII., p. 185.


'On some Defects in the Principle and Construction of Fireproof Buildings,' pp. 25. With a plate.

Min. Proc. Inst. C.E. vol. vii. p. 213.

See Chap. XII., p. 186.

Evidence and Documents on the subject of Iron Structures.

Report of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the application of Iron to Railway Structures. Presented to Parliament 1849.

See Chap. XII., p. 188.


' An Account of the Construction of the Britannia and Conway Tubular Bridges, w ith a complete history of their progress,' &e. Large 8vo. pp. 291. With several plates. London: Weale & Longman. 1849.

See Chap. XIII., p. 197.

' On the Expansive Action of Steam, and a new Construction of Expansion Valves for Condensing Steam Engines.'

Civil Engineers and Architects' Journal, vol. xii. p. 315.

Dingler's Polyteclinische Journale, vol. cxv. p. 1.

See Chap. XVIII., p. 319.

' On Water-wheels with Ventilated Buckets.'

Min. Proc. Inst, C.E. vol. viii. p. 45.

See Chap. XII., p. 188.


' An Experimental Enquiry into the Strength of Wrought Iron Plates and their Riveted Joints, as applied to Shipbuilding and vessels exposed to severe strain.'

Phil. Trans. 1850, p. (577.

See Chap. XXII., p. 402.

' On Tubular Girder Bridges.*

Min. Proc. Inst. C.E. vol. ix. p. 233.

See Chap. XXII., p. 401.

' An Experimental Enquiry into the Relative Power of the Locomotive Engine, and the Resistance of Railway Gradients.'

Read before the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, February 5, 1850, and published in vol. ix. of their ' Memoirs.'

This paper consists of a record of several series of experiments with locomotive engines on steep inclines on the Lancashire and Yorkshire and the East Lancashire railways, to determine the possibility of working such inclines with locomotive engines instead of by fixed engines.

It is not clear what share Mr. Fairbairn had in these trials ; but he reasoned upon them, and gave his opinion that 'the locomotive engine of the present day is more than commensurate for the attainment of these objects,' an opinion which has been amply borne out by subsequent experience, as of late years locomotive power has been used successfully for inclines much steeper than those contemplated in the above paper.

' On the Security and Limit of Strength of Tubular Bridges constructed of Wrought Tron.' Read April 2, 1850, before the same Society, and published also in their vol. ix.

This was for the most part a reproduction of the paper presented to the Institution of Civil Engineers about the same time.


'Two Lectures on the Construction of Boilers, and on Boiler Explosions; with the Means of Prevention.' Delivered before the Leeds Mechanics' Institution April 23 and 24, 1851.

Tract, 8vo. London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co.; Weale. 1851.

(Also in Journal of the Franklin Institute, 1851.)

See Chap. XVI., p. 263.


' On Metallic Constructions.' Civ. Eng. and Arch. Journal, vol. xv. p. 145. Franklin Inst. Jour. vol. xxiv.

A paper containing matter for the most part published elsewhere.

'On a new Tubular Boiler' (Brit. Assoc.) C.E. and Arch. Jour. vol. xv. p. 330.

This was a description of a proposed modification of his original double flued boiler, but it involved some internal complexity, and did not come into general use.

'On the Minie Kifle' (Brit. Assoc.) C.E. and Arch. Jour. vol. xv. p. 331.

A description of the arm, then a novelty exciting much interest in this country.


'Experimental Researches to determine the Strength of Locomotive Boilers, and the Causes which lead to Explosion.'

Reports of the British Association. Hull Meeting, 1853.

See Chap. XVI., p. 264.

'On the Mechanical Properties of Metals as derived from repeated Meltings, exhibiting the .Maximum Point of Strength and the Causes of Deterioration.'


See Chap. XXII., p. 405.

' On the Progress of Mechanical Science.' Address delivered by the President of the Mechanical Section on the opening of the business. Ibid.

See Chap. XXI., p. 369.

' Experiments on the Strength of Oast Iron Smelted with Purified Coke.'

Min. Inst. C.E. vol. xii. p. 360.

This related to a proposed mode of purifying coke from sulphur by chemical means, and Mr. Fairbairn's experiments showed that the process improved the quality of the iron ; but it has not come into use.

' On a new Description of Winding Engine.'

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers,


This was an account of an engine erected by Messrs. Fairbairn ami Sons at a colliery at Dukinfield near Manchester, 700 yards deep. The peculiarity of the engine was its large size, 400 to 450 horse power, and the fact that it had been modelled on the direct acting principle, similar to the marine engines which the same firm had put in Her Majesty's frigates, the ' Vnlture,' ' Odin ' and ' Dragon.' The paper was accompanied by drawings of the engines.

f . * On the Retardation and Stoppage of Railway Trains.'


The object of this was chiefly to describe the continuous self-acting brake, invented shortly before by Mr. James Newall, of Foury, and which has since come largely into use both in England and abroad. The experiments quoted in the paper showed that a train weighing 88 tons, when running at 48 miles an hour down an incline of 1 in 40, could be stopped by this break in 371 yards; when running on a level at 33 miles an hour it could be stopped in 100 yards.


' Description of an Improved Steam Travelling Crane.'

Read before the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, July

1854, and published in their 'Proceedings.'

This was an apparatus constructed for the purpose of lifting heavy weights and moving them about, chiefly applied to large stones during building operations. The hoisting machine was made to traverse a scaffold erected overhead, having motion both in the longitudinal and transverse directions ; the novelty in this machine was that both the hoisting and the locomotion were effected by the power of a small steam engine attached to the machinery, and which moved about along with it; this application of power effecting a considerable saving both of labour and time.

' Description of the Sliding Caisson at Keyham Dockyard.'

Min. Proc. Inst. C.E. vol. xiii. p. 444.

See Chap. XVIII., p. 320.

' On the Application of Cast and Wrought Iron to Building Purposes.' London: Weale. 1856. Large 8vo. pp. 183, with plates. Second edition, with additions. Weale, 1857. Third edition. Longmans, 1864.

See Chap. XXII., p. 406.


' Description of a New Construction of Pumping Engine.'

Proceedings of the Inst, of Mechanical Engineers, 1855, p. 177.

This was merely a description of a pumping engine erected by Messrs. Fairbairn at Dukinfield Colliery.

'Provisional Beport of Committee of the British Association on the Properties of Metals used for Artillery.'

Brit. Assoc. Rep. vol. xxiv. p. 100.

This was the beginning of an enquiry that was not continued.


' On the Tensile Strength of Wrought Iron at various Temperatures.'

Brit. Assoc. Rep. vol. xxv. p. 405.

He had before investigated the same subject for cast iron, and the Association had made him a grant for continuing the investigation. This paper was the result. It gave details of a large number of experiments on wrought-iron, and it appeared that in a range from 0 to 500c or 600 Fahr. no perceptible variation in strength was caused by the alteration of temperature.

' Useful Information for Engineers.' Being a series of lectures, &c. London: Longmans. 1856. Large 8vo. Hates. Followed by other editions.

See Chap. XXII., p. 409.


f On Tubular Wrought Iron Cranes;' with description of the 60-ton tubular crane recently erected at Keyhain Dockyard, Devonport.

Proceedings of the Inst. Mechan. Eng., 1857, pp. 87 to 96. With four plates.

See Chap. XVIII., p. 321.

I On the Comparative Value of various kinds of Stone as exhibited bv their Powers of resisting Compression.'

Read before the.Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester April 1, 1856, and published in their ' Transactions,' second series, vol. xiv. pp. 31-47.

This paper described a great number of experiments made in crushing small cubes of various kinds of stone, and a comparison of these with other materials, such as iron and timber. Drawings of the fractures were also given.


Note on the ' Life of James Watt.'

In Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men. By Francois Arago. London: Longmans. 1857.

See Chap. XXI., p. 378.


1 Experiments to determine the Strength of some Allovs of Nickel and Iron, similar in Composition to Meteoric Iron.'

Read before the Manchester Philosophical Society March 9, 1858. Published in their ' Transactions,' vol. xv. pp. 104-112. It had been supposed that such a mixture would be stronger and tougher than the simple iron, but these experiments proved the contrary,

' On the Comparative Temperature of the Climate of England and some parts of Italy.'

Ibid. pp. 45-48.

See Chap. XXI., p. 380.

' On the Resistance of Tubes to Collapse.'

Read before the Royal Society A lay 20, 1858.

Phil. Trans., 1858, pp. 389 to 413." With two plates.

See Chap. XVI., p. 270.

The same abbreviated.

Rep. Brit. Assoc. 1857, pp. 215-219.

1 On the Collapse of Glass Globes and Cylinders.'

Rep. Brit. Assoc. 1858, pp. 174-176.

See Chap. XVI., p. 273.

' The Patent Laws.' Report of Committee. Presented by W. Fairbairn.

Rep. Brit. Assoc. 1858, pp. 164-167.

A summary of the effect of recent patent legislation.

' On Shipping Statistics,' Report of Committee. (W. Fairbairn, chairman.;

Hep. Brit. Assoc., 1858, pp. 239-260.

Having a view to the improvement of the character of statistical records, particularly as regards the definition of tonnage.

' Description of a Floating Steam Corn Mill and Bakery .'

' Proc. Inst. Mechanical Engineers,'1858, pp. 155-158. Two plates.

See Chap. XVIII., p. 330.

F' Notice of some Experimental Apparatus for determining the density of Steam at all Temperatures.'

Contributed by Mr. Fairbairn to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society on November 16,1858, and published in their ' Transactions.' This consisted of a brief sketch of the apparatus with which he, in conjunction with Mr. Tate, was performing the investigation afterwards laid before the Koval Society.

' An Experimental Enquiry into the effect of Severe Pressure upon the Properties of Gunpowder.'

Read before the same society March 22, 1859. Published in their ' Proceeilings.'

The Government had, during the late war, requested him to subject some samples of gunpowder to severe pressure, in order to ascertain the effect of close contact between the particles on its explosive properties; and the effects are stated.

' Experiments to determine the effects of different Modes of Treatment on Cast Iron for the Manufacture of Camion.'

Read before the same society May 3, 1859, and published in their ' Proceedings.'

This is an account of pome experiments with certain peculiar modes of casting which were applied to some guns made by him and tried at Woolwich in 1855.


'Report of Committee on the Patent Laws.' Presented by W. Fairbairn.

Rep. Jirit. Assoc. 1859, p. 191.

' Experimental Researches to determine the Density of Steam at various Temperatures.' By Wm. Fairbairn aud Thomas Tate.

Rep. Brit. Assoc. 1859, p. 233.

See Chap. XVI., p. 273.

'Three Lectures on the Rise and Progress of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, and on Fopular Education.' (Two delivered at Derby and one at Blackburn.) Derby: W. & W. Pike. 1859.

' On the Resistance of Glass Globes and CyUnders to Collapse from External Pressure, and on the Tensile and Compressive Strength of various kinds of Glass.' By W. Fairliairn and Thomas Tate.

Phil. Trans. 1859, pp. 213 to 247.

See Chap. XVI., p. 273.


' On the Efficiency of various kinds of Railway Brakes.'

Rep. Brit. Assoc. 1859, p. 76.

Also a more extended paper on the same subject in Min. Inst. C.E, vol. xix. pp. 490 to 517.

See Chap. XXII.. p. 411.

'Experimental Researches to determine the Density of Steam at different Temperatures, and to determine the Law of Expansion of superheated Steam.' By Witt. Fairbnirn and Thomas Tate. Phil. Trans. I860, pp. 185 to 222. With three plates.

See Chap. XVI., p. 273.

' Useful Information for Engineers.' Second Series. London: Longmans. 1860. 8vo. pp. 330. Plates.

See Chap. XXII.. p. 412.

' The Strength of Iron Ships.'

Transactions of the Institution of Naval Architects. Vol. i. 1860, pp. 71-81. Two plates.

See Chap. XXII., p. 411.


' Experiments to determine the effect of Vibratory Action and long-continued Changes of Load upon Wrought-iron Girders.'

Brit. Assoc. Rep. 1860, pp. 45-48 ; Ditto 1861, pp. 286-9.

See Chap. XXII., p. 413.


' Iron : its History, Properties, and Processes of Manufacture.' (Reprinted from the eighth edition of the ' Encyclopaedia Britannica.') Edinburgh: Black. 1861. 8vo. pp. 236. Third edition 1869.

See Chap. XXII., p. 408.

' On the Mechanical Properties of Iron Armour Plates.'

Report of the Iron Armour Committee, 1861 (not published).

See Chap. XX., p. 359.

' Treatise on Mills and Millwork. Part I. On the Principle of Mechanism and on Prime Movers.' London: Longmans. 1861. 8vo.pp. 280. Plates.

See Chap. XXII., p. 414.

'Opening Address at the Meeting of the British Association at Manchester.'

Report for the year.

See Chap. XXI., p. 386.

' Remarks oil the Temperature of the Earth's Crust, as exhibited in the Duiintield Deep Aline.'

Brit. Assoc. Rep. 1861, p. 53-56. One plate.

This mine was sunk above 700 yards deep, and careful observations were made of the temperatures of the strata at various points in the descent. It increased from at 358 yards to 75 at 717 yards, and the experiments appeared to confirm the previous impression that the temperature increased directly as the depth.

' On the Permeability of various kinds of Insulation for Submarine Telegraph Cables.' Report of Joint Committee on the Construction of Submarine Telegraph Cables, 1861. Appendix No. 5.

See Chap. XXI., p. 382.

' On the Resistance of Iron Plates to Statical Pressure, and the Force of Impact by Projectiles at High Velocities.'

Brit. Assoc. Reports, 1861, pp. 280-286. 1862, pp. 178-181.

See Chap. XX.


' On the Resistance of different kinds of Shot.'

' (In the Properties of Iron Armour Plates.'

Report of the Iron Annour Committee, 1862 (not published).

See Chap. XX., p. 408.

' Address at the Opening of the Section of Mechanical Science, British Association.'

Brit. Assoc. Rep., 1862, pp. 178-182.

See Chap. XXI., p. 394.

' On the Properties of Iron and its Resistance to Projectiles at High Velocities.'

Lecture at the Royal Institution, May 9, 1862. Proc, vol. h i pp. 491-502.

See Chap. XX.


' Treatise on Mills and Millwork. Part II. On Machinery of Transmission and the Construction and Management of Mills.'

liondon; Longmans. 1863. 8vo. pp. 284. Plates.

See Chap. XXII., p. 414.

' On the Reconstruction of the Dinting and Mottram Viaducts.'

Min. of Proc. Inst. C. 8., May 24, 1869.

See Chap. XVIII., p. 331.

' Four Papers on the Properties of Iron Armour Plates, and of Projectiles.'

Report of the Iron Armour Committee, 18C3. (Not published.)

See Chap. XX., p. 408.

' Experiments to determine the effect of Impact, Vibratory Action, and long-continued Changes of Load on Wrought-iron Girders.'

Phil. Trans. 1864, pp. 311-325. Two plates.

See Chap. XXII., p. 414.


' Three Papers on the Properties of Iron Armour Plates.'

Report of the Iron Armour Committee, 1864. (Not pub-ished.)

See Chap. XX., p. 408.


' On the Atlantic Cable.'

Brit. Assoc. Rep. 1864, and 1865.

See Chap. XXI.


' Treatise on Iron Shipbuilding, its history and progress; as comprised in a series of experimental researches on the laws of strain; the strengths, forms and other conditions of the material, and an enquiry into the present and prospective state of the navy, including the experimental results on the resisting powers of armour plates and shot at high velocities.' 8vo. Plates and cuts. London: Longmans. 1865.

See Chap. XXII., p. 416.


' Description of the Removing and Replacing of the Iron Columns in a Cotton Mill.'

Head before the Institution of Mechanical Engineers August 1, 1866, and published in their 'Transactions' for the year, pp. 181-185. Three plates.

In consequence of the improvements in mule spinning it became necessary to widen the old mills, and to effect this in the case described a number of iron columns in a fire-proof building carrying iron and brick floors of a weight of 90 tons had to be removed while 300 persons were at work in the mill. The paper gives a description, with plates, explaining how this was successfully done.

' Useful Information for Engineers.' Third series. London: Longmans.

See Chap. XXII., p. 416.


' An Experimental Enquiry into the Strength, Elasticity, Ductility, and other Properties of Steel manufactured by the Harrow Heematite Steel Company.' London: Spottiswoode, 1869. 8vo, pp. 51. One plate.

' On the Law of Resistance of Armour Plates.'

Transactions of the Institution of Naval Architects, 1869.

See Chap. XX.

' The Rise and Progress of Manufactures and Commerce, and of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, in Lancashire and Cheshire.' Forming part of Barnes's ' Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present.' London : Mackenzie.

See Chap. XXII., p. 416.


'On Governmental Boiler Inspection.' A letter to John Hick, Esq., M.P. (Tract.)

Manchester Guardian Office. 1870.

See Chap. XVI., p. 278.


' On Steam Boiler Legislation.'

Quarterly Journal of Science, April 1871, pp. 214-227.

See Chap. XVI., p. 278.


* On the Durability and Preservation of Iron Ships, and on Riveted Joints.'

Proceedings of the Royal Society, vol. xxi. pp. 259-263. See Chap. XXII., p. 418.

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