Field, Joshua

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b. 1786 Hackney, London, England
d. 11 August 1863 Balham Hill, Surrey, England
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English mechanical engineer, co-founder of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
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Joshua Field was educated at a boarding school in Essex until the age of 16, when he obtained employment at the Royal Dockyards at Portsmouth under the Chief Mechanical Superintendent, Simon Goodrich (1773–1847), and later in the drawing office at the Admiralty in Whitehall. At this time, machinery for the manufacture of ships' blocks was being made for the Admiralty by Henry Maudslay, who was in need of a competent draughtsman, and Goodrich recommended Joshua Field. This was the beginning of Field's long association with Maudslay; he later became a partner in the firm which was for many years known as Maudslay, Sons \& Field. They undertook a variety of mechanical engineering work but were renowned for marine steam engines, with Field being responsible for much of the design work in the early years. Joshua Field was the eldest of the eight young men who in 1818 founded the Institution of Civil Engineers; he was the first Chairman of the Institution and later became a vice-president. He was the only one of the founders to be elected President and was the first mechanical engineer to hold that office. James Nasmyth in his autobiography relates that Joshua Field kept a methodical account of his technical discussions in a series of note books which were later indexed. Some of these diaries have survived, and extracts from the notes he made on a tour of the industrial areas of the Midlands and the North West in 1821 have been published.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
FRS 1836. President, Institution of Civil Engineers 1848–9. Member, Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers 1835; President 1848.
Bibliography
1925–6, "Joshua Field's diary of a tour in 1821 through the Midlands", introd. and notes J.W.Hall, Transactions of the Newcomen Society 6:1–41.
1932–3, "Joshua Field's diary of a tour in 1821 through the provinces", introd. and notes E.C. Smith, Transactions of the Newcomen Society 13:15–50.
RTS

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

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