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Photographic Print : James Tangye (1825-1912) in his workshop at Aviary Court, Illogan, Cornwall. Around 1900

James Tangye (1825-1912) in his workshop at Aviary Court, Illogan, Cornwall. Around 1900




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James Tangye (1825-1912) in his workshop at Aviary Court, Illogan, Cornwall. Around 1900

Mr James Tangye pictured in his workshop at his home, Aviary Court. He is seated, wearing a hat and holding a cane, amid various pieces of machinery. James was one of the five sons of Joseph Tangye senior, an Illogan miner, who commenced their engineering and manufacturing business together in Birmingham in 1856. James (1825-1912), the eldest, was very skilled with the lathe; Joseph (1826-1902) was the creative engineer; Richard (1833-1906) dealt with public relations and sales; George (1835-1920) was the businessman; while Edward (1832-1909), a Quaker, soon left to found his own business. Velocipedes, also known as Boneshakers, due to their iron tyres, were one of the many things that were manufactured at Tangyes Cornwall Works. The business also provided the hydraulic rams required to launch the Great Eastern, Brunels ill-fated steel ship in 1857-1858, and to raise Cleopatras Needle to its present position on the London Embankment in 1878. The first direct-acting steam pumps in Europe were made at the Cornwall Works in 1867 and the firm produced James Tangyes horizontal steam engines from 1869. By 1876 the firm employed 1300 workers. The Tangyes were also philanthropists and from 1880 were founders and major benefactors of the Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum and the Birmingham School of Art. Upon his retirement in 1872, " James returned to Illogan, where he purchased Aviary Cottage - a smallish house in a gentle green valley sheltered from the sea and the mines. There he established his own workshop in which he could follow the craft which he truly enjoyed. He spent much of his time giving a free training to young men of the neighbourhood who wished to prepare for engineering careers, but who, in the prevailing depression of the Cornish tin industry, had not the means to pay for apprenticeship. James also fitted up his own observatory with telescope and sidereal clock so that he could seriously pursue his hobby of astronomy. He made many journeys back to Smethwick to give help and advice whenever it was needed, but he never again felt tempted to leave for long his native village, where he died in 1912". (Rachel E. Waterhouse, 1957, A Hundred Years of Engineering Craftsmanship, Tangyes Limited 1857-1957). Photographer: Unknown

TRURI : 2009.1.843

Media ID 18391511

© From the collection of the RIC

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12"x8" Photo Print

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Estimated Image Size (if not cropped) is 30.4cm x 19.1cm (12" x 7.5")

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Artwork printed orientated as per the preview above, with landscape (horizontal) orientation to match the source image.


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