Price, John 1846 - 1913
John Price was born in 1846 in Alberbury in Shropshire. He began engineering work on the railways in 1861 on the Shrewsbury and Welshpool Railway. He went to work on numerous railway construction schemes across Britain employed by a number of different firms, even travelling to Hungary in 1868.
He was a partner in at least two public works contracting firms, namely Price & Reeves, with T.J. Reeves and Price, Wills and Reeves alongside C.J. Wills as well. in his work with these the two companies he worked a number of Underground projects including the Central London Railway, the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway and the Great Northern Bromption and Piccadilly Railway. The Rotherhithe Tunnel is possibly his most well known project today and other notable projects included the Immingham Docks and Admiralty Docks 14 and 15 at Portsmouth.
He made an associate member of the Insitution of Civil Engineers on 7th December 1897 and had a superlative professional reputation as a contractor.
He was the inventor of the Price Rotary Excavator, first developed in 1896 on the Central London Railway contract and refined in 1906 and put to great effect on the Rotherhithe Tunnel contract. The Price Rotary Excavator was the first fully-automated soft-ground tunneling machine and London Underground procured 40 for the construction of their network in the inter-war period. It was also considered as suitable plant for use in the putative 1907 Channel Tunnel scheme. Another of his inventions was a transporter to convey dreged material to the shore.
He passed away on 25th June 1913, his funeral was held on 28th June at Christ Church and he was laid to rest at Wimbledon Cemetary.