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UNWIN, Professor William Cawthorne (1838-1933)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0098 B/UNWIN
Held at: Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine
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Full title: UNWIN, Professor William Cawthorne (1838-1933)
Date(s): Created 1856-1952
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 6 boxes
Name of creator(s): Unwin | William Cawthorne | 1838-1933 | engineer


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born Coggeshall, Essex, 1838; educated at City of London School; lay student at New College, St John's Wood, London; employed by Sir William Fairbairn, [1856-1861]; Manager of Engineering works, 1861-1868; Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1867; instructor at the Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at Kensington, 1868-72; Professor of Hydraulic Engineering at the Royal Indian Engineering College, Cooper's Hill, 1872-1884; Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1878; Professor of Engineering, Central Technical College of the Guilds of London (later City and Guilds College), 1884-1904, Dean, 1884-1896, 1902-1904; elected Fellow of the Royal Society, 1886; Honorary Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 1886; Honorary Member of the Franklin Institute and of the American Philosophical Society, 1890; President of section G of the British Association, 1891; member of the Council of the Royal Society, 1894-1896; Honorary Membership of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1898; member of the General Board of the National Physical Laboratory, 1900; member of the Senate of the University of London, 1900-1905, 1911-1923; member of the Governing Body of Imperial College of Science and Technology, 1910-1926; President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1911; member of the Delegacy of the City and Guilds College, 1911-1926; President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1915-1916; awarded the first Kelvin Medal, 1921; Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, 1922; died, 1933.
Publications: include: Wrought Iron Bridges and Roofs .. With examples of the calculation of stress in girders, etc (London, 1869); On the Movement of the water in a tidal river, with reference to the position of sewer outfalls E & F N Spon, London, 1883); Exercises in Wood-Working for handicraft classes in elementary and technical schools (Longmans & Co, London, 1887); The Testing of Materials of Construction: a text-book for the engineering laboratory and a collection of the results of experiment (Longmans & Co, London, 1888); On the Development and Transmission of Power from central stations, being the Howard Lectures 1893 (Longmans & Co, London, 1894); A Treatise on Hydraulics (Adam & Charles Black, London, 1907).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Professor William Cawthorne Unwin, 1856-1952, comprising correspondence, principally concerning engineering matters, 1856-1931, 1950,1952, notably with Edward Dean Adams, including the Niagra Falls Scheme, 1890-1929, Sir Benjamin Baker, including the Forth Bridge, dam schemes, 1882-1898, Sir William Fairbairn, including experiments, appointments, 1856-1874, Thomas Hardy, concerning astronomy, 1881, Imperial College, 1910-1926 (as representative of the Institution of Civil Engineers);
research papers, 1859-1924, notably Fay and Newall brakes, 1859, observations on the Thames, 1882-1883, Nile Project Committee, 1919, dam schemes, 1899-1905;
speeches and addresses to various institutions, including presidential addresses to the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1912, and Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1916; engineering drawings, 1875-1906, of apparatus, machinery, sections of the Thames, Telok Ayer key wall, Singapore; two portraits of Unwin, undated;
additional material, comprising papers relating to Windsor Water Works arbitration, 1884; reports on compression gauges, 1886-1887; Birmingham dams, 1895; notes on dam theory, 1905; papers relating to Stockport water supply and Kinder Dam, 1905; notes relating to schemes for Niagra and central London.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, French.

System of arrangement:

The papers are arranged in sections as follows; general correspondence, research reports and other papers, speeches and addresses, drawings and portraits.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to consult the Archives should first contact the College Archivist, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, for an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of the Archivist. Photocopies are supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

A catalogue is available in the reading room of the College Archives.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were presented in 1936 by Professor Unwin's cousin, Miss Dorothy Unwin. The additional material was transferred from the Lyon Playfair Library.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Notes on lectures given by Professor Unwin, 1885-1887, (FC-FS), correspondence and papers concerning the Unwin Memorial Fund, 1928-1938 (B/WILSON), papers concerning the Unwin scholarship, 1935-1976 (K), held at Imperial College.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

The Life and Work of William Cawthorne Unwin by E G Walker (London, 1938).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Who Was Who (A & C Black, 1947, volume III); British Library On-Line Publications Acess Catalogue 97; National Register of Archives; The Life and Work of William Cawthorne Unwin E G Walker (London, 1938). Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
November 2000

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