Joshua Field (engineer)
Joshua Field was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 civil engineer
Civil engineer
A civil engineer is a person who practices civil engineering; the application of planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating infrastructures while protecting the public and environmental health, as well as improving existing infrastructures that have been neglected.Originally, a...

 and mechanical engineer.

Field was born in Hackney
Hackney (parish)
Hackney was a parish in the historic county of Middlesex. The parish church of St John-at-Hackney was built in 1789, replacing the nearby former 16th century parish church dedicated to St Augustine . The original tower of that church was retained to hold the bells until the new church could be...

 in 1786, his father was John Field a corn and seed merchant who was later to become Master of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors
Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors
The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London.The Company, originally known as the Guild and Fraternity of St...

. Field was a pupil of dockyard engineer Simon Goodrich
Simon Goodrich
Simon Goodrich was an engineer to the British Navy Board.He was said to have been born 28 October 1773 in Suffolk. His education and training is unknown. In 1796 he was appointed draughtsman in the office of Sir Samuel Bentham, Inspector General of Naval Works, and in 1799 was promoted to the post...

 from 1803 to 1805.
Commissioned by Samuel Bentham
Samuel Bentham
Sir Samuel Bentham was a noted English mechanical engineer and naval architect credited with numerous innovations, particularly related to naval architecture, including weapons...

, the Inspector-general of naval works, he worked with Samuel Goodrich to develop tools for mass producing ships' blocks at Portsmouth Dockyard
HMNB Portsmouth
Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the British Royal Navy...

. The block mills
Portsmouth Block Mills
The Portsmouth Block Mills form part of the Portsmouth Dockyard at Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, and were built during the Napoleonic Wars to supply the British Royal Navy with pulley blocks. They started the age of mass-production using all-metal machine tools and are regarded as one of the...

 they designed required ten unskilled men to take the place of 110 skilled craftsmen, and have been recognised as the first use of machine tools for mass production.
They were built by Henry Maudslay
Henry Maudslay
Henry Maudslay was a British machine tool innovator, tool and die maker, and inventor. He is considered a founding father of machine tool technology.-Early life:...

 between 1802 and 1806, and represented the first steam-powered manufactory in any dockyard.

He then joined Maudslay to form the firm of Messrs. Maudslay, Sons, & Field of Lambeth
Lambeth is a district of south London, England, and part of the London Borough of Lambeth. It is situated southeast of Charing Cross.-Toponymy:...

. One of their works was to build engines for the SS Great Western
SS Great Western
SS Great Western of 1838, was an oak-hulled paddle-wheel steamship; the first purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic and the initial unit of the Great Western Steamship Company. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Great Western proved satisfactory in service and was the model for all successful...

's Atlantic crossing of 1838.

He was a prolific engineer working with the Atlantic Telegraph Company
Atlantic Telegraph Company
The Atlantic Telegraph Company was a company formed in 1856 to undertake and exploit a commercial telegraph cable across the Atlantic ocean, the first such telecommunications link....

 on machinery for cable laying
Transatlantic telegraph cable
The transatlantic telegraph cable was the first cable used for telegraph communications laid across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. It crossed from , Foilhommerum Bay, Valentia Island, in western Ireland to Heart's Content in eastern Newfoundland. The transatlantic cable connected North America...

, the Metropolitan Board of Works
Metropolitan Board of Works
The Metropolitan Board of Works was the principal instrument of London-wide government from 1855 until the establishment of the London County Council in 1889. Its principal responsibility was to provide infrastructure to cope with London's rapid growth, which it successfully accomplished. The MBW...

 on sewage systems and Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, FRS , was a British civil engineer who built bridges and dockyards including the construction of the first major British railway, the Great Western Railway; a series of steamships, including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship; and numerous important bridges...

 on his steamships.

Field joined seven other young engineers who, in 1817, decided to found the Institution of Civil Engineers
Institution of Civil Engineers
Founded on 2 January 1818, the Institution of Civil Engineers is an independent professional association, based in central London, representing civil engineering. Like its early membership, the majority of its current members are British engineers, but it also has members in more than 150...

 as a more accessible institution than the established but élitist Society of Civil Engineers
Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers
The Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers was founded in 1771, and was originally known as the Society of Civil Engineers, being renamed following its founder's death...

 founded by John Smeaton
John Smeaton
John Smeaton, FRS, was an English civil engineer responsible for the design of bridges, canals, harbours and lighthouses. He was also a capable mechanical engineer and an eminent physicist...

 in 1771.
He served as their vice-president in 1837, and he continued to hold that office until elected president on 18 January 1848, being the first mechanical engineer to hold the presidency and the only one of the original proposers to hold the post. In his inaugural address, delivered on 1 February, he alluded particularly to the changes which had then been introduced into steam navigation which allowed for a greater capacity and speeds. On 3 March 1836 he became a fellow
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded...

 of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

, and was also a member of the Society of Arts.

Field died at his residence, Balham Hill House, Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

, on 11 August 1863, aged 76 and was interred at West Norwood Cemetery
West Norwood Cemetery
West Norwood Cemetery is a cemetery in West Norwood in London, England. It was also known as the South Metropolitan Cemetery.One of the first private landscaped cemeteries in London, it is one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries of London, and is a site of major historical, architectural and...

 in a Portland stone
Portland stone
Portland stone is a limestone from the Tithonian stage of the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The quarries consist of beds of white-grey limestone separated by chert beds. It has been used extensively as a building stone throughout the British Isles, notably in major...

A sarcophagus is a funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved or cut from stone. The word "sarcophagus" comes from the Greek σαρξ sarx meaning "flesh", and φαγειν phagein meaning "to eat", hence sarkophagus means "flesh-eating"; from the phrase lithos sarkophagos...

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