Samuel Cutler manufactured Gasometers worldwide
HF: This article came about because a query was posted on the Industrial History of Hong Kong Group website regarding a gasometer in Aberdeen, Hong Kong, (see linked articles in Related Indhhk articles below). Since then various contributors have provided information about other Samuel Cutler made gasometers. If you would like to add to our list please contact the Industrial History of Hong Kong Group website.
Hong Kong – Aberdeen
Stephen Davies: An interesting question to which I don’t know the answer, is what the provenance is of the gasometer that still stands (and I believe is in use for stand-by storage) back from the Tin Wan Praya waterfront just outside the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter West entrance (on the north shore).
I’m fairly sure it’s been there as long as I can remember (and that’s over 40 years) and its general look suggests something that is decades old, though possibly post-war.
The gasometer would seem a likely candidate for HK industrial archaeology status.
Hugh Farmer: A site visit to the Aberdeen gasomoter revealed, The prominent Towngas gasometer on the Aberdeen harbour front was erected in 1981 by Hong Kong United Engineering Ltd. though originally constructed by S Cutler & Sons of Telford, UK, on an unknown date.
All linked articles below are from the Industrial History of Hong Kong website unless otherwise indicated.
Ireland – Dublin
Martin Daly left a comment beneath the above article saying there was: a huge gasworks in Dublin, stamped with ‘Cutler & Sons, London, 1885’, which has now been turned into apartments. Martin believes there is just one gasworks of this type in Dublin and indeed in Ireland to his knowledge.
Martin has very kindly sent a number of images of the Ringsend Gasometer, and newspaper articles about the site, shown below.
See: Got a spare €43 million? The Gasworks building is for sale…The Journal, Ireland 16th November 2011
See: Dublin 4 sites near Google headquarters for €2.75 million The Irish Times 5th August 2015
Below are two contemporary photos of the gasometer site taken by Martin.
UK – London
Our article about the origins of the Aberdeen Gasometer led us to discover that it was originally constructed by Samuel Cutler & Sons of Millwall, London and Telford, UK.
This in turn provided both Stephen Davies and IDJ with the opportunity to link this particular gasometer design to Cutler’s Patent Guide Framing which was patented in 1888. Very familiar to any UK city dwellers growing up in post-WW2.
Stephen and IDJ also thought it would of general interest to read a history of gasholders in the UK and in particular information about Gas holder No 1 at Hornsey Gasworks, constructed in 1892, and the oldest surviving example of ‘Cutler’s Patent Guide Framing’.
“The truth is Gas holder No 1 at Hornsey Gasworks is a remarkable, innovative and historic architectural structure and it is astonishing that it has remained neglected and unsung for so long.
It was constructed in 1892 and is the oldest surviving example of ‘Cutler’s Patent Guide Framing’, which enables a structure using a lattice of vertical guides and helical girders to provide the necessary rigidity with a relatively lightweight and strikingly elegant appearance.
Samuel Cutler & Sons of Millwall patented this helical shell concept in 1888. This is not to be confused with conventional rectangular frames with cross-bracing – it is a truly geodesic cylinder. It was thirty years in advance of Barnes Wallis coining the term ‘geodesic’ for these lightweight structures for airships and aircraft and fifty years ahead of Buckminster Fuller’s trendy geodesic domes.”(1)
This article was first posted on 28th August 2019.
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