William Mackenzie

William Mackenzie - International Railway Builder

International Railway Builder and Civil Engineer
by David Brooke

This book results from the discovery, in 1988, of a huge and unsuspected collection of documents relating to the activities of William Mackenzie, one of the most prolific of mid 19th century building contractors. Restoration and cataloguing by the Institute of Civil Engineers revealed a rich archive covering Mackenzie’s work chiefly in Britain and France, but also in Ireland, Belgium and Spain.

Background
Forming a powerful partnership with Thomas Brassey, and applying his long experience in British railway and canal building, Mackenzie brought outstanding skill to the construction of the Paris and Rouen Railway. That was the beginning of a notable career abroad, during which he was responsible for building hundreds of miles of railway; his advice was sought by Daniel Gooch and Louis Napoleon (soon to be Napoleon III).

In this conference volume, papers are divided into four groups: history, infrastructure, mechanical and overseas, and include such subjects as:

This book gives a unique insight into the working methods of the band of engineers and contractors’ agents who, along with their navvies, spearheaded the worldwide advance of British railway construction and finance.

The Author
During a career in schools and university, David Brooke has written extensively on railway history, including subjects as diverse as railway amalgamation and investment, and the first use of steel rails. His book, The Railway Navvy (1983), is recognised as the most authentic account of the life and achievements of the navvies. In recent years he has contributed to the Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers, The Oxford Companion to British Railway History and The Oxford Dictionary of National biography. David Brooke was editor of the companion to this volume, The Diary of William Mackenzie (2003).

William Mackenzie, International Railway Builder, published by the Newcomen Society (2004), price £32 including p&p for orders in the UK.

To order a copy please send a cheque, for £32, payable to ‘The Newcomen Society’ and post it The Newcomen Society, The Science Museum, London SW7 2DD

To pay by credit card (not American Express) click here: Order a copy now

  • Forthcoming Events

    Apr
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    6:00 pm Will McTaggart and Robert Steeds... @ MANCHESTER Central Reference Library
    Will McTaggart and Robert Steeds... @ MANCHESTER Central Reference Library
    Apr 24 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
    Films on industry in the North-West brought to you by the North-West Film Archive.
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    The Dickinson Memorial Lecture: ... @ LONDON: The Dana Studio, Wellcome Wolfson Building,
    May 9 @ 5:45 pm – 7:45 pm
    The Dickinson Memorial Lecture will be given by Mike Chrimes. the title of his lecture is Measuring greatness: engineering biography- scholarship, hagiography or a marketing tool? Mike Chrimes is a long-standing member of the Newcomen[...]
    May
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    7:30 pm Frank Hornby and mechanical toys... @ BRISTOL, BAWA
    Frank Hornby and mechanical toys... @ BRISTOL, BAWA
    May 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
    A lecture by Deborah Jaffé. The entrepreneurial Frank Hornby was the inventor of Meccano, The Hornby Railway and Dinky Cars. This lecture looks at the origins of his designs, the manufacturing processes involved,  the images of[...]
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    Visits to AMRC and AESSEAL, Roth... @ ROTHERHAM details to follow
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