BEHR, Fritz Bernhard, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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BEHR, Fritz Bernhard (1842-1927). Railway engineer.
Series of nine letters (7 Letters Signed and 2 Typewritten Letters Signed) to Sir Henry Truman Wood at the Society of Arts, 10 Pages 8vo, 5 Queen Anne's Gate, February to November 1901.


Asking for tickets for his lecture to be sent to Lord Monson and others, offering to send a few corrections to his paper on the Manchester and Liverpool Railway 'so that when the paper is published [it] is strictly correct', asking Wood to hand over his box of slides needed for a lecture at Siemens Engineering Society, promising to supply a model for his lecture if there is room ('it is about 15ft long'), discussing proofs and asking for copies, etc.

Behr was born in Berlin and educated in Paris and as a pupil of Wentworth Shields and John Fowler. He became a naturalized British citizen in 1876. He was employed on many railway schemes, but interested himself particularly in the monorail system, promoting the Lartigue system in the British Isles. The railway completed on this system for the Listowel & Ballybunion Railway Company in 1888 was a technical success and continued to operate until 1924 despite the financial failure of the company in 1897.

'Behr ... then promoted the Manchester-Liverpool Express Railway, on which monorail trains ... running at speeds up to 110mph (177km/h) were to link the two cities in twenty minutes. Despite strong opposition from established railway companies, an Act of Parliament authorizing it was made in 1901. The Act also contained provision for the Board of Trade to require experiments to prove the system's safety. In practice this meant that seven miles of line, and a complete generating station to enable trains to travel at full speed, must be built before it was known whether the Board would give its approval for the railway or not. Such a condition was too severe for the scheme to attract investors and it remained still born.' [Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology, ed. Lance Day and Ian McNeil, 2013, p.88]

£375 [No: 25940]
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