Sir John Fowler Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1817 - 1898 *** Full Name: Sir John Fowler *** Occupation: English Civil Engineer *** Date of Birth: Sir John Fowler was born on July 15th 1817 *** Place of Birth: Sir John Fowler was born in Wadsley, Sheffield, England *** Family background: His father was John Fowler and his mother was Elizabeth Swann *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with five brothers and three sisters *** Education: Sir John Fowler was educated in a private school at Whitley Hall near Ecclesfield followed by becoming a pupil of John Towlerton Leather, an engineer at Sheffield Water Works ***
Sir John Fowler Fact 1: Sir John Fowler was born on July 15th 1817 and during the 19th century period in history when great strides were made in the industrial revolution, the Victoria era was coming to a close and there were vast technological advances being made.
Sir John Fowler Fact 2: In 1837 he began working for John Urpeth Rastrick. They began working on the London and Brighton Railway.
Sir John Fowler Fact 3: They then began the project of the West Cumberland and Furness Railway.
Sir John Fowler Fact 4: He would return to working with George Leather as his resident engineer and would become appointed as the engineer when the Stockton and Hartlepool Railway opened in 1841.
Sir John Fowler Fact 5: He then opened a consulting engineer practice in the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire area.
Sir John Fowler Fact 6: This practice did so well he was forced to move his practice to London in 1844.
Sir John Fowler Fact 7: In 1847 he would become a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in its first year and two years later he became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Sir John Fowler Fact 8: In 1850 he married Elizabeth Broadbent and together they had four sons.
Sir John Fowler Fact 9: During his career he became chief engineer for the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway.
Sir John Fowler Fact 10: He was also engineer for the East Lincolnshire Railway, the Severn Valley Railway and the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway.
Sir John Fowler Fact 11: By 1853 he would become the chief engineer for the world’s first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway in London.
Sir John Fowler Fact 12: The first line opened between Farringdon and Paddington in 1863 using the “cut and cover” method of digging trenches beneath roads.
Sir John Fowler Fact 13: He was also the engineer in association with the District Railway and the Hammersmith and City Railway.
Sir John Fowler Fact 14: In the 21st century these lines are all major lines in the London Underground’s Circle Line.
Sir John Fowler Fact 15: Edward Watkin who was the chairman of the Metropolitan Railway in 1872 stated “No engineer in the world was so highly paid” with his remuneration for his work being in the region of one hundred and fifty two thousand pounds, the equivalent of twelve million today. Although not all of this money stayed with Fowler, it also went on contractors and other staff members.
Sir John Fowler Fact 16: Various other projects he consulted on included the London Tilbury and Southend Railway, the Great Northern Railway, the Cheshire Lines Railway and the Highland Railway.Sir John Fowler Fact 17: When Isambard Kingdom Brunel died in 1859, Fowler was asked to step into the breach on the Great Western Railway.
Sir John Fowler Fact 18: His consulting work also extended beyond the United Kingdom to projects in the United States, Australia, Algeria, Egypt, Belgium, Germany, France and Portugal and in 1870 he was giving advice to the Indian Government.
Sir John Fowler Fact 19: Beside railways and in conjunction with them he also designed various bridges including the Grosvenor Bridge, over the River Thames as well as the Victoria Bridge in Worcestershire and the thirteen arch Dollis Brook Viaduct for the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway.
Sir John Fowler Fact 20: Sir John Fowler died on November 20th 1898 in Bournemouth, Dorset in England aged eighty one years. His body was laid to rest in Brompton Cemetery in London.
Influence and Legacy: His legacy is a lasting one that can been seen in the railway networks nationwide as well as worldwide and in the London Underground system that he pioneered.
List of Awards given to Sir John Fowler: He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 1885, he was created a baronet in 1890, he was given an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Edinburgh also in 1890 and in 1892 he was given the Poncelet Prize ***