Buddle, John

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b. 15 November 1773 Kyloe, Northumberland, England
d. 10 October 1843 Wallsend, Northumberland, England
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English colliery inspector, manager and agent.
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Buddle was educated by his father, a former schoolteacher who was from 1781 the first inspector and manager of the new Wallsend colliery. When his father died in 1806, John Buddle assumed full responsibility at the Wallsend colliery, and he remained as inspector and manager there until 1819, when he was appointed as colliery agent to the third Marquis of Londonderry. In this position, besides managing colliery business, he acted as an entrepreneur, gaining political influence and organizing colliery owners into fixing prices; Buddle and Londonderry were also responsible for the building of Seaham harbour. Buddle became known as the "King of the Coal Trade", gaining influence throughout the important Northumberland and Durham coalfield.
Buddle's principal contribution to mining technology was with regard to the improvement of both safety standards and productivity. In 1807 he introduced a steam-driven air pump which extracted air from the top of the upcast shaft. Two years later, he drew up plans which divided the coalface into compartments; this enabled nearly the whole seam to be exploited. The system of compound ventilation greatly reduced the danger of explosions: the incoming air was divided into two currents, and since each current passed through only half the underground area, the air was less heavily contaminated with gas.
In 1813 Buddle presented an important paper on his method for mine ventilation to the Sunderland Society for Preventing Accidents in Coal-mines, which had been established in that year following a major colliery explosion. He emphasized the need for satisfactory underground lighting, which influenced the development of safety-lamps, and assisted actively in the experiments with Humphrey Davy's lamp which he was one of the first mine managers to introduce. Another mine accident, a sudden flood, prompted him to maintain a systematic record of mine-workings which ultimately resulted in the establishment of the Mining Record Office.
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Bibliography
1838, Transactions of the Natural History Society of Northumberland 11, pp. 309–36 (Buddle's paper on keeping records of underground workings).
Further Reading
R.L.Galloway, 1882, A History of Coalmining in Great Britain, London (deals extensively with Buddle's underground devices).
R.W.Sturgess, 1975, Aristocrat in Business: The Third Marquis of Londonderry as
Coalowner and Portbuilder, Durham: Durham County Local History Society (concentrates on Buddle's work after 1819).
C.E.Hiskey, 1978, John Buddle 1773–1843, Agent and Entrepreneur in the Northeast
Coal Trade, unpublished MLitt thesis, Durham University (a very detailed study).
WK

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

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