James Edward McConnell
|Born||1 January 1815|
|Died||11 June 1883 (aged 68)|
Great Missenden, England
|Employer(s)||Birmingham and Gloucester Railway|
London and North Western Railway
James Edward McConnell (1815–1883) was one of the first locomotive engineers of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). He was Locomotive Superintendent of the LNWR's Southern Division at Wolverton railway works from 1847 to 1862 and oversaw the design of the "Bloomer" and "Patent" locomotives. He was also one of the founding members of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and its first chairman, discussing the issue of an institute in 1846 at Bromsgrove.
Since the Rainhill Trials in 1829, it had been accepted that the smoke emitted by burning coal was a nuisance. Railway companies accepted the need to burn coke (a smokeless fuel) in their locomotives, but this was much more expensive than coal, and several locomotive engineers sought a method by which coal could be burned smokelessly. One such engineer was McConnell, who designed a boiler suitable for coal in 1852.
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- Glossary for the LNWR Society