Samuel Lake

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Samuel Lake
OccupationTrawler owner, civil engineer
Known forCivil Engineer, Steam Trawlers

Samuel Lake AM (1842–1887) was a general merchant, civil engineer, and pioneering designer and builder of steam trawlers,[2] from Dartmouth, Devon in the United Kingdom.

In his civil engineering work in the 1860s he constructed one of the first rows of terraced cottages to be built out of poured shuttered concrete, using what was then a revolutionary building material and technique. They were then known as Coombe Terrace, today numbers 12 to 21 Coombe Road, and were built for Lake himself and for his employees.[3][4][5][1][6]

Lake's trawler work was in conjunction with George Parker Bidder,[7] also of Dartmouth, and proved to be a technical success, but not at that time to be commercially viable.[8]

Lake spent a substantial part of his life in India. In 1867 Lake of the Bombay Reclamation Company was awarded the Albert Medal[9] for his bravery in helping rescue the crew and some 400 Muslim pilgrims from a shipwreck off Bombay. He returned to Dartmouth in 1866.[1]

Lake was contracted in 1879 to build Milford Haven and in 1881 Felixstowe Docks[5][1] but went bankrupt.

Lake Street in Dartmouth is named after him.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Freeman, Ray (1990). Dartmouth and Its Neighbours – A history of the Port and Its People. Richard Webb. p. 174. ISBN 9780953636167.
  2. ^ Smart, Ivor H. "THE SHIPYARDS OF DARTMOUTH SANDQUAY DOCKYARD" (PDF). The Dartmouth Harbour Papers Part 6. The Dartmouth Archives. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 August 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2012. In 1872 George Philip built the experimental steam trawler Edyth for the G. P. Bidder. Edyth was larger than her predecessor and fitted with a lifting or' disconnecting' screw designed by Samuel Lake, of Dartmouth.
  3. ^ "Coombe Mud – Dartmouth – c1880s". Dartmouth Museum. Retrieved 20 April 2012. The terrace of houses was known originally as Coombe Terrace, and can still be seen today. It is of special historic interest being the first terrace in the country to be built of poured shuttered concrete, by Samuel Lake in the 1860s.
  4. ^ "A Dartmouth History Research Group Project". The Dartmouth Archives. Retrieved 25 March 2012. Overlooking Coronation Park. Built by Samuel Lake for his fishermen. 9 residences.
  5. ^ a b Collinson, Don (October 2000). The Chronicles of Dartmouth. Richard Webb. pp. 48, 49. ISBN 9780953636105.
  6. ^ "Things to Do – Indoor – Outdoor – Dartmouth Museum". Dartmouth Museum. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012. After the blocks of flats on your left Coronation Park opens up with a view across to the Grade II listed terrace of cottages, once Coombe Terrace, now Coombe Road, built in the 1860s by Samuel Lake using a new technique, that of poured shuttered concrete. A normal construction method today, these are probably the first such terrace in the country.
  7. ^ A short History of George Parker Bidder, 1806–1878. Moretonhampstead Local History Society. p. 14. Retrieved 25 March 2012. (from the index)" Lake, Samuel – Dartmouth trawler owner: 14 – Partnered with GPB in experiments with steam in local fishing industry: 14
  8. ^ "Text of pamphlet on Bidder, 1995". Retrieved 25 March 2012. Another Dartmouth venture was his interest in the development of steam trawlers. He must often have watched sailing vessels struggling with the entrance to the Dart, and had plenty of experience of commercial steamships, so he felt the use of steam would benefit the local fishing industry. In partnership with a Dartmouth trawler owner, Samuel Lake, he commissioned several steam trawlers for experiment, providing steam power for hauling nets and raising anchors as well as for propulsion. He succeeded in showing that the steam engine did not scare the fish away, but there were other problems and the venture was not financially viable – it was an idea ahead of its time.
  9. ^ London Gazette 7 June 1867
  10. ^ Scoble, Phil (September 2011). "The Building of the Dartmouth Embankment". By The Dart. Retrieved 25 March 2012. So when a number of notable and serious men of the town, not least Samuel Lake, entrepreneur and boatbuilder, who gave his name to Lake Street...