DEANE, Henry (1847-1924)


DEANE, Henry (1847-1924)
engineer and man of science
was born at Clapham, England, on 26 March 1847, the son of Henry Deane, a fellow of the Linnean Society of London. Deane matriculated in 1862, and in 1865 graduated B.A. at Queen's university of Ireland, with honours in mathematics and natural science. He also studied engineering for two years and obtained his diploma at King's College, London. After two years in the office of Sir John Fowler at London, he was engaged from 1869 to 1871 on the Hungarian railways, and from 1871 to 1873 was chief technical assistant at the ship-building works of the Danube Steam Navigation Company, Altofen, Hungary. From 1873 to 1879 he was in England and the Philippine islands. Coming to Australia at the end of 1879 he joined the New South Wales railways department in 1880, and rose to be engineer-in-chief in 1890. In 1894 he made a world trip studying light railways and tramway systems, and after his return took a leading part in inaugurating the Sydney electric tramway system. He retired from the New South Wales railways in May 1906, but after two years of private practice he was appointed consulting engineer to the Commonwealth in connexion with the survey of the transcontinental railway. At the beginning of 1912 he became engineer-in-chief and supervised the construction of a large portion of this railway. He retired in February 1914 and practised as a consulting engineer at Melbourne. He died there on 12 March 1924. He was twice married and left a widow, three sons and three daughters. He was a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers and of several learned societies. He was twice president of the Royal Society of New South Wales and for two years was president of the Linnean Society in the same state.
Deane, a kindly genial man, found time to do interesting and valuable work in various branches of science. In conjunction with J. H. Maiden (q.v.) he published a series of papers on native timbers, and wrote frequently on forestry and botanical subjects. His work on tertio fossil botany was particularly valuable, and gave him a high reputation among the geologists of his time.
Some Notes on the Life of Henry Deane, 1924; F. Chapman, Records Geological Survey, Victoria, Vol. IV, 1925; Proceedings Royal Society of Victoria, 1925; The Argus, Melbourne, 13 March 1924; Proceedings Linnean Society of N.S.W., vol. XLIX, p. IV.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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