Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1876 - 1965 *** Full Name: Sir William Arthur Stanier *** Occupation: English Chief Mechanical Engineer *** Date of Birth: Sir William Arthur Stanier was born on May 27th 1876 *** Place of Birth: Sir William Arthur Stanier was born in Swindon, Wiltshire, England *** Family background, early life and childhood: Very little is known about his family, early life or background. What is known is that he followed his father into the railway trade *** Education: Sir William Arthur Stanier attended Swindon High School as well as attending Wycliffe College for one year ***
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 1: Sir William Arthur Stanier was born on May 27th 1876 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 William Arthur Stanier Fact 2: He followed his father to Great Western Railway in 1891 and worked as an office boy.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 3: For the next five years he worked in the workshop as an apprentice.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 4: After that between 1897 and 1900 he worked as a draughtsman in the Drawing Office before he was promoted to Inspector of Materials.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 5: He was appointed as Assistant to the Divisional Locomotive Superintendent in London by George Jackson Churchward.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 6: He would return to Swindon in 1912 and worked as the Assistant Works Manager.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 7: By 1920 he would receive a promotion to Works Manager.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 8: Sir Josiah Stamp, chairman of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway “headhunted” him to work for him and gave him the job of Chief Mechanical Engineer.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 9: Utilizing the experience he had gained previously he was tasked with bringing more powerful locomotive designs and modernizing the railway.Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 15: In 1943 he was knighted and also made a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 10: William Stanier produced many successful designs including the “Black 5” mixed traffic 4-6-0 (as depicted above) and a freight locomotive 8F 2-8-0. The Coronation, his Princess Coronation Class 4-6-2 No. 6220 beat the Gresley A4’s locomotive speed record and set a new one at 114 miles per hour (the record was later taken back by by an A4 reaching 126.4 mph (203.4 km/h)).
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 11: In 1937 the Coronation Class, also known as the Duchess Class, was created with significant improvements that included a larger superheater.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 12: This class also incorporated streamlining as one of its new features.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 13: It is thought the Duchess was capable of beating the speed record held by the Mallard at 126 miles per hour but the break out of World War II interceded before an attempt could be made.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 14: When World War II broke out he worked in service as a consultant to the Ministry of Supply until 1944.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 16: It was in 1944 that he retired altogether.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 17: He was married to Ella Elizabeth Morse and together they had a son and a daughter.
Sir William Arthur Stanier Fact 18: William Arthur Stanier died in Rickmansworth in 1965 aged eighty nine years. His body was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium in London.
Influence & Legacy: His developments and designs would be a huge influence on what would later become British Railways and their standard classes of locomotives.
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