Clark was born in Edinburgh (it is thus appropriuate that the magnificent
Edinburgh Public Library holds at least one of his major works) on 17 July
1822 and died at his home in 8 Buckingham Street, Adelphi, London. on 22
January 1896. His taste for mechanics showed itself at an early age: there
is a mauscript entitled A Descriptive History of the Steam Engine from
the Earliest Age, written when he was fourteen years old. He commenced
life as a teacher of mathematics at the Edinburgh Grammar School, but in
1839 he was apprenticed to Thomas Edington & Son, Phoenix Ironworks in
Glasgow. He became mechanical engineering draughtsman to John Miller of
Edinburgh, who was chiefly connected with railway work. Here he utilized
his spare time for two years as assistant editor of a local publication entitled
the Practical Mechanic and Engineer's Magazine. On leaving Miller's
office in 1848 he entered the locomotive department of the North British
Railway in Glasgow, but moved to London in 1851 to become engineer to the
Deep Sea Fisheries Association, a post he retained until his return to Scotland
in 1853. In 1852 he contributed two papers to the Institution
of Mechanical Engineeres on the expansive working of steam locomotives
(Proceedings 1852, pages 60,
109), which produced a discussion that added greatly to the knowledge of
the locomotive. From 18853-5 he was
Locomotive superintendent of the Great
North of Scotland Railway. The brief contentious period as Locomotive
Superintendent of the Great North of Scotland Railway. is related by Jackson
who tells the extraordinary story of the relationship between Clark and the
Board of the GNoSR. Clark refused to work at Aberdeen, and even appears to
have been reluctant to travel to Manchester to inspect locomotives under
construction. Some 0-6-0s, intended for freight were altered to 2-4-0s without
the Board's consent.
Ellis (North British Railway) noted that: "About this time, [presumably the early 1850s] Mr. Daniel Kinnear Clark was knocking about Cowlairs, rather at a loose end, out of a berth owing to the slump and not yet engaged as locomotive consultant to the Great North of Scotland Railway. In one of the 0-4-0 engines, that which Paton built in 1850, with outside inclined cylinders and large dome like the much heavier Hercules, he gave a trial to Ivison's patent coal-burning firebox. It was shallow, 7ft. long, and had a steam jet above the flame area. The notion was that the steam thus injected to the middle of the fire was reduced to its elements, and the resultant oxygen induced a bright flame and complete combustion. Whether the hydrogen, thus left at a loose end, was expected to blowout the tubes was not stated. Kinnear Clark was much engaged by this ingenious combination of applied chemistry and physics, and gave Ivison an awful "press" in the course of his literary work. But it gave him an idea, that of air-induction steam jets practically the same thing which he succeeded in getting adopted on the Great North of Scotland in 1859. Mr. Everard quotes ten engines as having been subjected to Kinnear Clark's experiments, including Orion and Sirius
Author of the influential textbook Railway Machinery (originally published in parts and completed in 1855), in which the importance of wide steam passages was stressed, Clark was also a specialist in the theory of balancing, and the rules he laid down were broadly observed by designers for many decades. This book established his reputation as an authority on locomotive engines. In the course of the six years occupied in its compilation he visited nearly all the railway works in England and Scotland. During his visits to London in connection with its publication, he was brought into contact with some of the leading engineers of that day, on whose advice he decided to commence practice in London as a consulting engineer. In 1855 he accordingly settled in the Adelphi, where he continued to practice for the rest of his life. He was appointed by Robert Stephenson Inspector of Locomotives for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, the duties consisting of the inspection of fifty locomotives, to be examined within two years. He also wrote for the Directors of the Waterford and Kilkenny Railway Company a report on the condition of that property which evoked considerable criticism and discussion. In 1856 he examined and reported on the rolling stock of the Londonderry and Enniskil1en Railway, and in November 1856 his Paper On the improvement of railway locomotive stock and the reduction of the working expenses was read before the Institution Civil Engrs and was awarded a Telford Medal, Mr. Clark sought to show that an economy of 50 per cent. might be effected in the working charges of the locomotive stock of the railways of the United Kingdom. In November, 1857, he patented an invention for the consumption of smoke in locomotives using bituminous fuel, which proved successful The reputation which Railway Machinery achieved in America led to his introduction to the Zerah Colburn when he came to England shortly after its publication; and their meeting resulted in the publication in 1860 of a supplementary volume embracing the more recent practice in English and American locomotives.
In 1853 he had contributed to the Institution of Civil Engineers the
first of a series of papers on the Experimental Investigation
of the principles of the Boilers of Locomotive Engines. Thirty years
later these contributions were supplemented by a paper on the
Behaviour of Steam in the Cylinders of Locomotives during
Expansion. In 1862 he was appointed superintendent of the machinery
department of the International Exhibition held in London; and at its close
received the thanks of the Commissioners of the Exhibition for the able manner
in which his difficult and delicate duties bad been carried out. A 441 page
cyclopedia of the machinery, written by him, was published in 1864, entitled
The exhibited machinery of 1862: a cyclopaedia of the machinery represented
at the International Exhibition. London: Day and a paper on the "Locomotive
engines in the International Exhibition of 1862" was contributed to this
(Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs.,
1863, 14, 78-111).
In 1869 and again in 1871 he went to Egypt as Sir John Fowler's representative, to report on the railways of the country, and to prepare plans for a scheme of agricultural irrigation and for the construction of a ship railway at the first cataract of the Nile. In 1877 was published his Manual of rules, tables, and data for mechanical engineers, on which he had spent several years to render it as perfect and complete as possible; it enjoys a high reputation as a leading work of reference, more especially among American engineers.
In 1879 appeared his book on Fuel; its combustion and economy, which may to some extent be regarded as the sequel to an invention brought out in 1857, having for its object the perfect combustion of fuel in furnaces by means of jets of steam introduced into the fire-box over the coal; this plan had already been applied successfully to a large number of stationary and locomotive boilers.
In 1880 he was appointed testing engineer to the Smoke Abatement Committee, and in that capacity carried out a largo number of tests of fuels and of heating and cooking apparatus in connection with the exhibitions held at South Kensington in 1881 and 1882, the results of which were embodied in a report published in 1883. His first work on Tramways; their construction and working was published in 1878, and was followed by supplementary and enlarged editions in 1882 and 1894.
In 1892 was published his Mechanical Engineer's Pocket Book, a comparatively little known but valuable work, containing a vast amount of original and useful information.
By far the most important of his later works is The steam engine a treatise on steam engines and boilers, published in 1892. It is probably by this exhaustive treatise that he will be best known to posterity; it may in fact be regarded as the master-piece of a long life devoted to the interests of the engineering profession. Mainly IMechE and ICivilE obituaries.
Clark's London office activities, and his association with Zerah Colburn are examined by Mortimer (see especially page 212) where Clark's office was perceived as a gold mine for its contacts which included Douglas Galton, Peter Ashcroft, John Strapp, Robert Sinclair, James McConnell, Daniel Gooch and John Cudworth..
Mortimer: Following the death of Zerah Colburn, book publishers William Collins, and Company of Glasgow approached Daniel Kinnear Clark. The company was keen to see completed the book it had commissioned Colburn to write.
The book had already been a long time coming. Colburn started work on it shortly after he met Maw in 1863, and whom he commissioned to write a number of chapters. But since completing, or commissioning, some fifteen , chapters or so - roughly half the finished text the American journalist had to move onto something more exciting. This something was, of course, Engineering. But with Engineering successfully launched and now behind him, so to speak, Colburn could find no enthusiasm to complete the massive work Locomotive Engineering. Instead he worked fitfully, latterly on lectures for the Society of Arts and the Institution of Civil Engineers.
And so Collins the publishers could do no more than approach the man best known in the skills of pulling together the final strings of the project and bringing it to the point of publication.
It was with a good degree of humble pie that they did so. In the past, Clark's publisher was Collins's competitors, Blackie and Son of Glasgow, Edinburgh and London. To go cap in hand to a rival author to complete a work was something publishers did not like.
Clark's most famous work, Railway Machinery, was published by Blackie; so too was his combined work with Colburn, Recent Practice in the Locomotive Engine. But not any Tom, Dick or Harry could complete Colburn's epic work. It needed an expert's touch. And Clark, most clearly, was that expert.
Clark was a prolific writer. Born just ten years before Colburn, Clark, had by the age of 33 produced his classic work, Railway Machinery that, even by the time of his death at the age of 74 in January 22, 1896, was still regarded as a standard work. Nothing so complete had been produced before, and Colburn's treatise, modeled on Clark's epic, was not, of course completed by the author. Clark's last work, The Steam Engine and Boilers, deserved to rank amongst the very best treatises ever written, noted The Engineer in its obituary to Clark. The journal conceded that while Clark 'never carried out any great engineering work, he was a noteworthy man, and will not soon be forgotten.' Clark died at his home at 8 Buckingham-street, Adelphi, London.
Joint editor Clark was indeed kind, forgiving and generous to Colburn on a second count. The title page of the book carries only one author: Zerah Colburn, Yet while Colburn conceived the book he wrote only the first five chapters, including three relating to the history of the locomotive, of which he was an expert. As might be expected he compiled a chapter on 'Heat and Steam' and one on the 'Description of the Locomotive Engine'. He commissioned Maw to write a further eight chapters on valve gear. Interestingly, when Colburn's book was published, Maw was shown still as 'Mr. W. H. Maw, of the Great Eastern Railway'. This was not so; and it would have upset Maw to see it as such - he was a stickler for accuracy. In fact, in 1871 Maw was, of course, joint editor of Engineering along with James Dredge. Why not credit him with this tide? Perhaps Mr. Clark was unaware.
Colburn also organized for Mr. Fred Slade to produce a chapter on the principles of the slide valve, whilst his colleague Mr. Ferdinand Kohn wrote chapters on the principles of combustion, the functions of the locomotive boiler and the theory of the blast.
Together these accounted for some 234 pages.
Yet, in his modesty, without adding his name below Colburn's as joint author, Clark put together the remaining 21 chapters, amounting to some 95 pages. So it is clear that Clark compiled at least one-third of Volume One. Notwithstanding this, Clark also arranged the very large number of woodcuts and he was responsible for organizing and collecting together the various whole plates that went to make up Volume Two.
The whole plates included double-page spreads of a cosmopolitan collection of locomotives, including passenger locomotives (14), mixed-traffic locomotives (2), goods locomotives (3) and goods tank engines (1). Included among the illustrations was the passenger locomotive by the Rogers' Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey and the goods locomotive built by MM. J. F. Gail & Co. of Paris for the Great Northern Railway of France (Fig.26). The opening illustration was J. Ramsbottom's 'Lady of the Lake'.
So who would read this classic work? In his Introduction, Colburn could visualize five classes of reader most likely to turn to his 'Treatise upon the Locomotive Engine'(2}:
Cardwell, D.S.L. Steam engine theory in the 19th Century: from duty
to thermal efficiency; from Parkes to Sankey.
Soc., 1993, 65,
Includes an examination of D.K. Clark's Railway machinery and the results of experiments therein, mainly on steam condensation within cylinders.
His tenure on GNSR is discussed
by Jackson, Backtrack, 12, 535.
Locomotive Carriage and Wagon Review, Dec. 1930.
Railway machinery. London: 1855. 2v.
Ottley 2760: According to Ottley, Clark was a significant contributor to railway literature. Available from Google as an e-book
The steam engine: a treatise on steam engines and boilers. London: Blackie, 1890.. 2v in 4v.
Ottley 2974 (even George Ottley does not quote the voluminous title in full, but he does note a second edition of 1891). Volume 2 has been inspected courtesy of what had been a copy in Crewe Public Library (now part of a County Library system). Pp. 455 et seq relate to steam locomotives and experiments performed thereon far earlier (1850) in Clark's career. He had subsequently studied several types of engine, including compound stationary engines. The locomotives forming the subject of Clark's tests are detailed in Table 97 (page 458) and partially reproduced below.
|G. W. R.,||Great Britain||18 x 24||8ft 0in||Inside|
|E. & G. R.||Orion||15 x 20||6ft 0in||Inside|
|Hebe||15 x 20||5ft 6in||Inside|
|Nile||16 x 18||6ft 0in||Inside|
|Pallas||15 x 20||6ft 0in||Inside|
|Brindley||14 x 18||5ft 6in||Inside|
|CR||No. 13||15 x 20||6ft 0in||Outside|
|14||15 x 20||6ft 0in||Outside|
|33||15 x 20||6ft 0in||Outside|
|41||15 x 20||6ft 0in||Outside|
|42||15 x 20||6ft 0in||Outside|
|51 old valve||15 x 20||6ft 0in||Outside|
|51 new valve||15 x 20||6ft 0in||Outside|
|73||13 x 18||5ft 0in||Outside|
|124||17 x 24||4ft 7in||Outside|
|125||17 x 24||4ft 7in||Outside|
|127||17 x 24||4ft 7in||Outside|
|102||16 x 18||4ft 6in||Outside|
Some of these locomotives were assessed for wiredrawing (wire-drawing) in the cylinders, pulsations in the cylinders, the interpretation of indicator diagrams, the expansion of steam within the cylinders, condensation of steam in unprotected cylinders. On the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway measurements were made of the gradual reheating of the cylinders of Nile as an express left Linlithgow towards Glasgow. Clark notes that many of these data were originally published in his Railway machinery of 1851. Table 103 (page 480) shows a run behind CR No. 42 from Glasgow to Carlisle with an express on 29 August 1850 and page 482 describes the water consumed in climbing Beattock incline with a coke train on 27 March 1850. Chapter 6 Behaviour of steam in the cylinder during exhaust. Table 105 (page 484) analyses the relationship between exhaust pressure and initial pressure For CR Nos. 73, 33 and 125 and EGR Nile whilst Table 106 (p. 485) considers the relationship of back pressure in exhaust in relation to the speed of the locomotive for Nile. The influence of water in the cylinders and priming are considered in relation to exhaust back pressure. In this case most of the locomotives originally tabulated including Great Britain are considered. Specific mention is made of the working of cable-assisted trains up Cowlairs Incline where increased back pressure was experienced both on the incline (where the stationary engine did the bulk of the work) and for several miles afterwards until the cylinders had warmed up.
The period of release, being the interval of space within the cylinder, or the portion of the steam stroke, in which the port is open to exhaust, is covered in Table 108 (page 489) for Great Britain. In the text Clark mentioned the data obtained for the CR locomotives. In tables on page 490 the difference in behaviour of inside and outside cylinders on exhaust back pressure is assessed.. In Chapter 7 the behaviour of steam in the cylinder during compression is evaluated: figures 221-3 relate to CR 51 and 125 and EGR Brindley respectively. Part of Chapter 8 (pp. 492-8) considers locomotives (the remainder of the Chapter surveys portable and stationary engines). Table 109 (p. 496) calculates final pressures as based adiabitically and isothermally for Great Britaim, Nile, Orion and Hebe. Table 110 (p. 497) relates horsepower to steam consumed (measured as water) for Great Britain and CR 42 and 48.
On pages 568-9 considers the superheating tried on Great Britain combined with well-protected heated cylinders (Table 121) and on page 570 Table 122 considers consumption of steam in the cylinders of the basic CR 42 and 48.
The latter part of this volume is concerned with the design and strength of boilers, mainly of the large stationary type, such as the Lancashire and Galloway boilers, but there is a considerable amount of information on small proprietory boilers some of which could have been used on industrial and tramway locomotives. Vertical boilers considered include those by Raistrick, D. Adamson (pager 727), Abbott (page 728) , William Green (briefly on p. 731), Reading Ironworks (732-6), the Edward Field boiler (736-40), the Alexander Chaplin (Glasgow) boiler, (740-3) the Cochran (of Birkenhead) boiler (page 743-53) and the Goldsworthy Gurney (p. 755-6) and Ernst Alban (p. 756-7) sectional boilers. David Joy's involvement in the Barrow sectional boiler (in association with Messrs J. & F. Howard of Bedford) (page 757-9) was considered at length. Clark cites paper by Hele Shaw on Small motive power (Proc. Instn civ. Engrs, 1879/80, 62, 290)
Railway locomotives: their progress, mechanical
construction and performance. Glasgow: 1860.
Ottley (2959) describes this as two volumes, but the work seen (Edinburgh Public Library) was bound as one, although the plates therein are described as Volume 2. It is assumed that Recent practice in the locomotive engine, 1858-59. with Zerah Colburn (Glasgow: 1860) is a Supplement. This is clearly one of the most significant works on the history of the locomotive. It is significant that in the opening pages of his introductory historical chapter he cites Nicholas Wood (Treatise, 1838), Pambour (Treatise 1840) and Tredgold. It is significant that Clark considers Pambour to be the main authority on early locomtive history.
Chapter 1 (pp. 1-29) covers the history of the locomotive and a table on page 7 quotes the dimensions of some early locomotives in both their original and altered/improved forms: these are identified as "Killingworth" (original and improved); Rocket (original and altered); Sanspareil, Novelty (original and altered), Phoenix and Arrow. The bulk of Volume 1 is divided into the "physiology" and "anatomy" of the locomotive..
The plates include: 10-12: J.V. Gooch's Snake 2-2-2 for the LSWR; 13-14 4-2-0 Derosne for the Northern Railway of France; 15 2-2-2 by Robert Stephenson for York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway; 16 3-cylinder 2-2-2 for the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway (also Robert Stephenson); 17 Sturrock designed 0-6-0 for GNR, supplied E.B. Wilson; 18-20 0-6-0 Sphynx supplied Sharp Bros for MS&LR; 21-3 Alexander Allan 2-4-0 freight locomotive built at Crewe; 24-6 Sinclair 2-2-2 for the CR (very light tender locomotives); 27 J.V. Gooch 2-2-2T for ECR; 28 Robert Stephenson 2-2-0T; 29 Robert Stephenson 2-2-2 for SER; 30 tender for Sphynx; 31 Vale of Neath Railway 0-6-0ST supplied by Vulcan Foundry; 32 John Hawkshaw 2-2-2 for L&YR and 0-4-2 goods locomotive for LYR; 34 Hawthorn 2-2-2 for GNR and Hawthorn 0-4-2 for Blythe & Tyne Railway; 35 Beyer Peacock 2-2-2 for Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway; 37-8 Clark 0-4-0T for GNSR manufactured Beyer Peacock; 39 Vulcan Foundry 2-2-2ST and 0-4-2ST for Dublin & Wicklow Railway; 40 Alexander Allan 0-4-2 for the Scottish Central Railway; 41 Robert Sinclair outide-cylinder 2-4-0 for the ECR; 42 George England 2-2-2T; 44 Robert Stephenson 4-4-0T for North London Railway also George England 0-4-0T for Sandy & Potton Railway; 45 Cudworth 2-4-0 for South Eastern Railway and D.K. Clark outside cylinder 2-4-0 for GNSR supplied by Fairbairn.. Other plates: 4 reproduces the indicator diagrams taken on Great Bitain on the GWR; 5 considers studies on blast incolving CR No. 14 (covered in great detail) and 13, 25, 33, 41, 51, 125, 73 and 102 and GSWR Queen.;
with G.D. Dempsey. A
rudimentary treatise on the locomotive engine... with large additions treating
of the modern locomotive by D.K. Clark. London: Crosby Lockwood,
Ottley 2965: copy seen in Mitchell Library, Glasgow.
Several earlier editions (Ottley 2965): 3rd edition with additions by D.K. Clark. 1879: included D. Luiz (a Beyer Peacok locomotive for the South Eastern Railway of Portugal). Ramsbotton Lady of the Lake, Patrick Stirling 4-2-2, a Cudworth 2-4-0, an unspecfied 0-4-2, a Johnson 4-4-0, a Great Southern & Western Railway (Ireland) 0-6-0, the Cross 2-4-2T for steep gradients, the Fairlie type 0-4-4T for Great Southern & Western Railway (Ireland), Samuel's light engines: Enfield for rhe Eastern Counties Railway, and Fair Field for the Bristol & Exeter Railway. This book has been reprinted by Pen & Sword of Barnsley and is reviewed by Kevin Jones in Journal Rly Canal Hist. Soc. and by Phil Atkins in Backtrack: the former is glad to note that the latter (with his vastly better access to sources) is in general agreement on the quality of this work.
An elementary treatise on steam and the steam-engine ... being an extension of the Elementary treatise on steam of John Sewell. by D. K. Clark. London: 1875
On the expansive working of steam in locomotives. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs, 1852, 3, 60.
Experimental investigation of the principles of the boilers
of locomotive engines. Min. Proc.
Instn civ. Engrs., 1853, 12, 382-413. Disc.: 414-31. (Paper
Coke had been the universal fuel except on the Stockton & Darlington Railway where coal had always been burned as in general the grates were too small and the firebox volume was too low to burn coal. T.R. Crampton (414-15) spoke about Liverpool; Robert Stephenson (415-16) concurred with the general sentiments in the paper, but McConnell (417-20 and 426-9) disputed.
On the improvement of railway locomotive stock, and the reduction of the working expenses. Min. Proc. Instn civ. Engrs., 1857, 16, 3-21 Discussion: 22-43. (Paper 940)
On coal-burning and feedwater heating in locomotive engines. Min. Proc. Instn civ. Engrs., 1860, 19, 546-63. Discussion: 564-85 (Paper No. 1024).
The evaporative performance of steam boilers. Min. Proc. Instn civ. Engrs., 1876, 46, 242-73. (Paper 1486)
On the strength of flat plates and segmental ends of boilers and other cylinders. Min. Proc. Instn civ. Engrs., 1878, 53, 170-92. (Paper 1585)
On the beahaviour of steam in cylinders of locomotives during expansion. Min. Proc. Instn civ. Engrs., 1883, 72, 275-99. (Paper 1910)
1253/1861 Furnaces. 16 May 1861.
Biography to Marshall