About Loftus Perkins
Loftus Perkins (8 May 1834 – 27 April 1891) was an English engineer, particularly involved in developing the practical technologies of central heating and refrigeration.
A description of Loftus written by his assistant Charles J Hayward who worked with him on many of his experiments says,
"He was a man with brown eyes, well proportioned in build and a great chemist and engineer. He had a large moustache and Dundreary whiskers, who always wore a double-breasted blue suit, and in the Works, a peaked cap with silk oak leaves around. In the winter he used to wear a Canadian fur cap. He came into the Works one Sunday morning dressed in white flannels with a white peaked yachting cap. He smoked 13 ounces of tobacco a week - he always carried a pouch with 4 ounces of tobacco in it. His type of tobacco was "Branksome's Light Virginia".
He was born in London, the son of Angier March Perkins and was likely apprenticed to his father. His grandfather, Jacob Perkins, had arrived in England from New England and the family still had many contacts in the U.S. so, in 1853-4 Loftus worked in America. After further work for his father, and in Hamburg and Berlin before establishing the partnership of A. M. Perkins & Son with his father.
He devoted his energies to heating and refrigeration and combined great imagination with practical engineering instincts. He also contributed to the development of the steam engine. Among his innovations were:
The "Polly Perkins" - mobile steam ovens for the British Army;
Steam ovens for use in bakeries;
High-pressure steam tractors;
The Anthracite - a 70-ton yacht powered by high-pressure steam;
Express - a 160 ft steamship powered by a Perkins 800 horse power quadruple compound engine;
the "Arktos" cold chamber (1888) for preserving food.
He married Emily Patton (born 1837/8) from New York. Loftus was joined in the family business by hisr sons:
Loftus Patton Perkins (born 1867); and
Ludlow Patton Perkins (1872–1928).
Perkins died in London and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. The firm subsequently merged with Joseph Baker, Sons & Co., as Baker Perkins.
Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, (1861);
Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, (1881)
Loftus Perkins's Timeline
May 8, 1834
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
April 27, 1891
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
London, England, United Kingdom