Clark, Edwin 1818 - 1894


Edwin Clark (1814–1894) was born at Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, in 1818 to father Josiah Clark, grocer, and his wife, Ann, née Rose. Edwin Clark was mathematical master at Brook Green, and then a surveyor in the west of England. He went to London in 1846 and formed the acquaintance of Robert Stephenson, who appointed him superintending engineer of the Menai Strait Bridge, which was opened on 5 March 1850. Edwin's younger brother, Latimer Clark (1822–1898), worked under him as an assistant engineer during Menai Strait Bridge project. In that year he published The Britannia and Conway Tubular Bridges (3 vols., the third an atlas). In August 1850 he became engineer to the Electric and International Telegraph Company, and three months later he took out the first of several patents for ‘electric telegraphs and apparatus connected therewith’. From then on he divided his time between electric and hydraulic engineering. On 4 February 1856 he took out a patent for ‘suspending insulated electric telegraph wires’, but most of his patents were for improvements in dry docks and floating docks, in the methods of lifting ships out of the water for repairs, and for constructing piers.

He was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on 3 December 1850, and contributed many papers to their Proceedings, being awarded a Telford medal in 1866 for his paper ‘On the hydraulic lift graving dock’, and a Watt medal in 1868 for those on ‘The durability of materials’. Two years' residence in Buenos Aires, Paraguay, and Uruguay, provided material for his Visit to South America (1878). He was married to Eliza (b. 1826/7). Edwin Clark died at his home, Cromwell House, Marlow, on 22 October 1894.