The Life and Times of Daniel Gooch
Daniel Gooch (1816-1889) was the GWR's first locomotive engineer. His first job was as a lad in a grim ironworks; he then became a draughtsman and worked on an engine for the first Russian railway. His cousin offered him a partnership in a new locomotive works but the business collapsed. Jobless, he became engaged to the daughter of a wealthy shipowner. Hearing that Brunel was looking for a locomotive engineer for the GWR, he applied for the post and, a few days before he was twenty-one, he was appointed. After a struggle with underpowered and unreliable engines ordered by Brunel, he began designing his own, which proved to be superb and were a key factor in the Gauge War.
He and two friends bought the immense Great Eastern steamship for a mere £25,000 and chartered her our for the laying of the first Atlantic telegraph cable. Gooch sailed on the expeditions and was awarded a baronetcy for his part in the risky venture. He then became Chairman of the GWR. He found the company on the verge of bankruptcy, staved off the crisis, and presided over its recovery and growth to the largest network in Britain. Thanks to his tenacity, the GWR's most difficult project, the monumental Severn Tunnel, was completed.
Besides all these achievements, he served as an M.P. for twenty years and was a member of the important Royal Commission into the trades union. He died, still in harness, in 1889, leaving a fortune of three quarters of a million pounds.
Hardback with dust jacket, 218 pages, black & white illustrations
Condition: Very Good
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