More About Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury Who Served as Engineer for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association
Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury was one of the five original principals involved in the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association, the organization that began the development of the New York City suburb known as Pelham Manor. Spilsbury was a mining and metallurgical engineer of international reputation. He owned a home near the intersection of today's Black Street and Pelhamdale Avenue in Pelham Manor and worked with Stephens Brothers & Company (Charles J. Stephens and Henry C. Stephens) as a "civil and mining engineer."
I have written extensively about both Spilsbury and the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association. At the end of today's posting, I have included a long list of previous postings on the topics.
"Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury
EDMUND GYBBON SPILSBURY, mining and metallurgical engineer of international reputation, died suddenly of heart failure on May 28, 1920, in the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, following an operation for cataract, which had been successfully performed a few days previous.
Mr. Spilsbury was one of the early members of the American Institute of Mining Engineers which he joined in 1873. During all this time he contributed freely of his time and ability. He was manager of the Institute from 1885 to 1887, vice-president, 1893 and 1894, and president in 1896. He was also a member of the Engineers Club, of which he was president in 1916 and 1917, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Mining and Metallurgical Society of America, American Electrochemical Society and the Rocky Mountain Club of New York. He was a trustee of the United Engineering Society from its organization in 1913 until his death, being its chairman from 1918 to January, 1920; a trustee of Engineering Foundation Board from 1916 until his death; and member of the John Fritz Medal Board of Award. He was also a member of the Division of Engineering of the National Research Council.
Born in London, England, in 1845, Mr. Spilsbury went to Liege, Belgium, at an early age, where he received his preliminary education. For his technical education he attended the University of Louvain, Belgium, graduating in 1862, and later he took a practical course at Clausthal, Germany.
In 1864 he became assistant engineer for the Eschweiler Zine Co., of Stolberg, one of the largest miners and smelters of lead and zinc in the world at that time, and the next year he took charge of that company's mines and works on the Island of Sardinia.
From Sardinia he went to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. In 1867 he entered the service of McClean & Stilman, of London, and had charge of the construction of the iron gates for the Surrey Commercial Docks. In 1868 he was designing engineer with J. Casper Harkort, and had charge of most of the detail work of the Keulenberg Bridge in Holland, the Danube Bridge in Vienna, and the Rhine Bridge at Dusseldorf.
In 1870 Mr. Spilsbury came to the United States to investigate the lead and zinc resources for the Austro-Belgian Metallurgical Co. After spending two years in this work, he resigned in order to practice in the United States, and he was the first to introduce the Harz system of ore dressing for the zinc ores of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. From 1873 to 1875 he was engaged as general manager of the Bamford (Pa.) Smelting Works. In 1879 he designed and built the Lynchburg Blast Furnace & Iron Works, and was also consulting engineer for the Coleraine Coal & Iron Co, of Philadelphia. In 1883 he became general manager of the Haile gold mine in South Carolina, and in 1887 engaged with Cooper Hewitt & Co., of New York. From 1888 to 1897, he was managing director of the Trenton Iron Co., Trenton N.J., during which time he introduced the Elliot locked wire rope and the Bleichert system of aerial tramways.
In 1893 Mr. Spilsbury presided over the sessions of the mining division of the International Engineering Congress at the World's Fair, Chicago.
He was the author of a number of important tech- [page 27 / Page 28] nical papers in the Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, among which may be mentioned: 'On Rock-Drilling Machinery' (1874); 'New Air Compressor' (1879); 'Iron Ore Deposits on the James River' (1880); 'Gold Mining in South Carolina' (1883); 'Chlorination of Gold-Bearing Sulfides' (1887); 'Notes on the General Treatment of the Southern Gold Ores and Experiments in Matting Iron Sulfides' (1887); 'Notes on a Novel Cable Transfer for Railroad Cars and the Use of the Locked Wire Rope' (1891); 'Improvements in Mining and Metallurgical Appliances During the Last Decade' (1897); and 'Improvement in Cyanide Process' (1910).
In lighter vein he wrote entertainingly. To the 'Mining and Scientific Press' he contributed in 1915 'Technical Reminiscences,' covering his interesting experiences during a half century of active practice.
Mr. Spilsbury's practice as a consulting mining engineer and metallurgist took him into many parts of Europe, Africa, the United States, Mexico and South America. During the winter and early spring of 1920, he spent a number of weeks in Brazil on a mining project for clients in the United States and had returned to New York only a few weeks before his decease.
Mr. Spilsbury is survived by three sons, Raymond G., Persifor G. and Hugh G.; by one daughter, Miss Beulah G.; and a sister, Miss Matilda Spilsbury."
Source: "Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury" in Mining and Metallurgy, No. 163, Jul. 1920, pp. 27-28 (NY, NY: The American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers).
As noted above, I have written extensively about both Spilsbury and the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association. For examples, see:
Mon., May 8, 2006: Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury Who Served as Engineer for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.
Tue., Apr. 18, 2006: Prospectus Issued by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1874.
Thu., Dec. 22, 2005: Area Planned for Development by The Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1873.
Mon., Mar. 20, 2006: Charles J. Stephens and Henry C. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.
Mon., Mar. 27, 2006: 1057 Esplanade: One of the Original Homes Built by the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.
Wed., May 19, 2010: Obituary of Charles J. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.
Tue., May 18, 2010: 1874 Newspaper Advertisement Touting Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association Real Estate.
Mon., May 17, 2010: Jessup Family Members Tried in 1909 to Take Back Some of the Lands Conveyed to Form the Lands Developed by the Pelham Manor and Huguenot Heights Association.
Fri., May 14, 2010: 1885 Article on Alleged Failure to Develop Pelham Manor Said the Development "At Best Resembles the Collapse of a Wild Cat Land Scheme."
Wed., November 11, 2009: 1874 Evening Telegram Advertisement for Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Development.
Mon., Mar. 2, 2009: 1884 Advertisement Placed by Charles J. Stephens of the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association Offering Home for Rent.
Tue., Jun. 20, 2006: Mystery: A Lawsuit Filed Against the Dissolved Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in 1915.
Mon., Jun. 12, 2006: Early Deed of Land to the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.
Wed., May 10, 2006: Horace Crosby, the Civil Engineer Who Laid Out the Chestnut Grove Division for the Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association in the 1870s.
Fri., May 26, 2006: The 27th Conference on New York State History Will Include Presentation of Paper on Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association.
Tue., Jul. 19, 2011: 1876 Newspaper Advertisement Touting Pelham Manor & Huguenot Heights Association Real Estate.
Thursday, April 09, 2009: The Death of Charles J. Stephens in City of Mexico in 1891.