John Lofting

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Jan Lofting
Jan Loftingh

1659 (1659)
Died15 June 1742 (1742-06-16) (aged 83)

John Lofting (1659 – 15 June 1742, London), originally Jan Loftingh, was an engineer and entrepreneur from the Netherlands. His parents were Herman and Johanna. He moved to London, England, before 1686.[1] He patented two inventions: the "sucking worm engine" (a fire engine)[2] and a horse-powered thimble knurling machine.[1] His mill was set up in Islington, where Lofting Road is named after him.[3] However, in or about 1700, he moved his main operation to Great Marlow in Buckinghamshire to take advantage of the River Thames' ability to turn a water wheel which improved productivity, enabling the production of over 2 million thimbles per year.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Trentmann, Frank (2012). The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption. Oxford University Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780191624353.
  2. ^ Sutton, Peter C. (2006). Jan Van Der Heyden: 1637-1712. Yale University Press. p. 234. ISBN 9780300119701.
  3. ^ Fairfield, Sheila (1983). The streets of London: a dictionary of the names and their origins. Macmillan. p. 196. ISBN 9780333286494.