Stuart, Herbert Akroyd

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b. 1864 Halifax, England
d. 1927 Perth, Australia
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English inventor of an oil internal-combustion engine.
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Stuart's involvement with engines covered a period of less than ten years and was concerned with a means of vaporizing the heavier oils for use in the so-called oil engines. Leaving his native Yorkshire for Bletchley in Buckinghamshire, Stuart worked in his father's business, the Bletchley Iron and Tin Plate works. After finishing grammar school, he worked as an assistant in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the City and Guilds of London Technical College. He also formed a connection with the Finsbury Technical College, where he became acquainted with Professor William Robinson, a distinguished engineer eminent in the field of internal-combustion engines.
Resuming work at Bletchley, Stuart carried out experiments with engines. His first patent was concerned with new methods of vaporizing the fuel, scavenging systems and improvement of speed control. Two further patents, in 1890, specified substantial improvements and formed the basis of later engine designs. In 1891 Stuart joined forces with R.Hornsby and Sons of Grantham, a firm founded in 1815 for the manufacture of machinery and steam engines. Hornsby acquired all rights to Stuart's engine patents, and their superior technical resources ensured substantial improvements to Stuart's early design. The Hornsby-Ackroyd engines, introduced in 1892, were highly successful and found wide acceptance, particularly in agriculture. With failing health, Stuart's interest in his engine work declined, and in 1899 he emigrated to Australia, where in 1903 he became a partner in importing gas engines and gas-producing plants. Following his death in 1927, under the terms of his will he was interred in England; sadly, he also requested that all papers and materials pertaining to his engines be destroyed.
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Bibliography
July 1886, British patent no. 9,866 (fuel vapourization methods, scavenging systems and improvement of speed control; the patent describes Stuart as Mechanical Engineer of Bletchley Iron Works).
1890, British patent no. 7,146 and British patent no. 15,994 (describe a vaporizing chamber connected to the working cylinder by a small throat).
Further Reading
D.Clerk, 1895, The Gas and Oil Engine, 6th edn, London, pp. 420–6 (provides a detailed description of the Hornsby-Ackroyd engine and includes details of an engine test).
T.Hornbuckle and A.K.Bruce, 1940, Herbert Akroyd Stuart and the Development of the Heavy Oil Engine, London: Diesel Engine Users'Association, p. 1.
KAB

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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