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Adams Autobiography

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0103 MS ADD 401
Held at: University College London
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Full title: Adams Autobiography
Date(s): 1891
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume
Name of creator(s): Adams | William Alexander | 1821-1896 | engineer


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born at Quintero, Chile, 1821; came to London, 1826; worked in the carriage works of his father, William Bridges Adams, and uncle, c1836-1846; became manager of the London Works, Birmingham, 1846; in business with George Alcock, 1846-1850; began his own business, 1850; member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers; presented papers on railway carriages and wagons, 1850, 1852; formed the Midland Wagon Company, 1853; elected Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1865; a director of Muntz's Metal Company; introduced into the USA the purchase lease system of letting railway wagons, 1874; formed the Union Rolling Stock Company for financing wagons on that system in the USA, 1875; presented to the Institution of Civil Engineers a paper on railway rolling stock capacity, 1876; director of the Birmingham Joint Stock Bank; Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for Herefordshire; died at Gaines, Herefordshire, 1896. Publications: Twenty-six years Reminiscences of Scotch Grouse Moors (H Cox, London, 1889); Bores and Loads for Sporting Guns for British game shooting (H Cox, London, 1894).


Scope and content/abstract:

Bound typescript autobiography, 'The Record of a Busy Life', by William Adams, 1891, detailing his life in Chile, London, and the Midlands, including family history, family and associates, business, and other reminiscences, with a two-page printed biography from the Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers (vol cxxiv, Session 1895-1896, pt ii) inserted.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

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Conditions governing reproduction:

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Finding aids:

Collection level description.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received from Brian Adams via Professor Frederick Rosen in 1997.

Allied Materials

Related material:

University College London Special Collections also holds correspondence between William Bridges Adams and his wife Elizabeth and her father Francis Place, concerning their travels in South America (Ref: MS ADD 396), correspondence of William Bridges Adams with Sir Edwin Chadwick (Ref: CHADWICK), and various other papers of Francis Place.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: biography from the Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, vol cxxiv, Session 1895-1896, pt ii; British Library OPAC. Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with 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:
Jun 2001

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