Bury, Edward

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b. 22 October 1794 Salford, Lancashire, England
d. 25 November 1858 Scarborough, Yorkshire, England
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English steam locomotive designer and builder.
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Bury was the earliest engineer to build locomotives distinctively different from those developed by Robert Stephenson yet successful in mainline passenger service. A Liverpool sawmill owner, he set up as a locomotive manufacturer while the Liverpool \& Manchester Railway was under construction and, after experiments, completed the four-wheeled locomotive Liverpool in 1831. It included features that were to be typical of his designs: a firebox in the form of a vertical cylinder with a dome-shaped top and the front flattened to receive the tubes, and inside frames built up from wrought-iron bars. In 1838 Bury was appointed to supply and maintain the locomotives for the London \& Birmingham Railway (L \& BR), then under construction by Robert Stephenson, on the grounds that the latter should not also provide its locomotives. For several years the L \& BR used Bury locomotives exclusively, and they were also used on several other early main lines. Following export to the USA, their bar frames became an enduring feature of locomotive design in that country. Bury claimed, with justification, that his locomotives were economical in maintenance and fuel: the shape of the firebox promoted rapid circulation of water. His locomotives were well built, but some of their features precluded enlargement of the design to produce more powerful locomotives and within a few years they were outclassed.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
FRS 1844.
Bibliography
1840, "On the locomotive engines of the London and Birmingham Railway", Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers 3 (4) (provides details of his locomotives and the thinking behind them).
Further Reading
C.F.Dendy Marshall, 1953, A History of'Railway Locomotives Down to the End of the Year 1831, London: The Locomotive Publishing Co. (describes Bury's early work).
P.J.G.Ransom, 1990, The Victorian Railway and How It Evolved, London: Heinemann, pp. 167–8 and 174–6.
PJGR

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

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