Josiah Latimer Clark

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Josiah Latimer Clark
Josiah Latimer Clark.jpg
Born (1822-03-10)10 March 1822
Template:Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire
Died 30 October 1898(1898-10-30) (aged 76)
Nationality English

Josiah Latimer Clark (10 March 1822 – 30 October 1898), was an English Electrical Engineer, born in Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire.[1]


Josiah Latimer Clark was born in Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and was younger brother to Edwin Clark (1814–1894), a Civil Engineer and inventor of the Clark hydraulic lift graving dock. Latimer Clark studied chemistry at an early age. His first connection with technical work was in the chemical manufacturing industry in a large Dublin establishment. However, in 1848 Clark began working in his elder brother's civil engineering practice and became assistant engineer at the Menai Strait bridge.[2] Two years later, when his brother was appointed Engineer to the Electric Telegraph Company, he again acted as his assistant, and subsequently succeeded him as Chief Engineer. In 1854, he took out a patent "for conveying letters or parcels between places by the pressure of air and vacuum," and later, in 1863, was concerned in the construction, by the London Pneumatic Despatch Company, of a tube between the London North-West District post office and Euston station, London.

About the same period he was engaged in experimental researches on the propagation of the electric current in submarine cables, on which he published a pamphlet in 1855, and in 1859 he was a member of the committee that was appointed by the government to consider the numerous failures of submarine cable enterprises.

Latimer Clark paid much attention to the subject of electrical measurement, and besides designing various improvements in method and apparatus and inventing the Clark standard cell, he took a leading part in the movement for the systematization of electrical standards, which was inaugurated by the paper which he and Sir CT Bright read on the question before the British Association in 1861. With Bright also he devised improvements in the insulation of submarine cables. In the later part of his life he was a member of several firms engaged in laying submarine cables, in manufacturing electrical appliances, and in hydraulic engineering.

Clark married Margaret Helen Preece (Sir William Preece's sister) in 1854. They had two children. He later divorced her for good cause in 1861.

Clark died in London on 30 October 1898.


Besides professional papers, Clark published an Elementary Treatise on Electrical Measurement (1868), together with two books on astronomical subjects, and a memoir of Sir W. F. Cooke.


  1. ^  Albert Frederick Pollard (1901). "Clark, Latimer". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  2. ^ "Obituary". Journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, Vol XXVIII, 1899. Robert Stephenson Trust. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Clark, Josiah Latimer". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.