Hancock, Walter

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b. 16 June 1799 Marlborough, Wiltshire, England d. 14 May 1852
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English engineer and promoter of steam locomotion on common roads.
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He was the sixth son of James Hancock, a cabinet-maker and merchant of Marlborough, Wiltshire. Initially Walter was apprenticed to a watchmaker and jeweller in London, but he soon turned his attention to engineering. In 1824 he invented a steam engine in which the cylinder and piston were replaced by two flexible bags of several layers of canvas and rubber solution, which were alternately filled with steam. The engine worked satisfactorily at Hancock's works in Stratford and its simplicity and lightness suggested its suitability for road carriages. Initial experiments were not very successful, but Hancock continued to experiment. After many trials in and around London, the Infant began a regular run between Stratford and London in February 1831. The following year he built the Era for the London and Brighton Steam Carriage Company. The Enterprise was next put on the road, by the London and Paddington Steam Carriage Company in April 1833. The Autopsy started to run from Finsbury Square to Pentonville in October of the same year and ran alternately with the Erin between the City and Paddington. Hancock's interest in steam road locomotion continued until about 1840, by which time he had built ten carriages. But by then public interest had declined and most of the companies involved had failed. Later, he turned his attention to indiarubber, working with his brother Thomas Hancock. In 1843 he obtained a patent for cutting rubber into sheets and for a method of preparing a solution of rubber.
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Bibliography
1838, Narrative of Twelve Years of Experiments (1824–1836) Demonstrative of the Practicability and Advantages of Employing Steam Carriages on Common Roads, London.
IMcN

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

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