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Great Engineers & Scientists

In 1676, Sir Isaac Newton wrote "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants." In this blog, we take Newton's words to heart, and recognize the many great engineers and scientists upon whose shoulders we stand.

So who do you think of when you hear "Great Engineer"? Let us know! Submit a few paragraphs about that person and we'll add him or her to the pantheon. Please provide a citation for the material that you submit so that we can verify it. Please note - it has to be original material. We cannot publish copywritten material or bulk text taken from books or other sites (including Wikipedia).

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The Fogerty Family: Irish Builders and Architects

Posted March 17, 2013 12:00 AM by SavvyExacta

This being St. Patrick's day, I was curious about how many Irish engineers and scientists had been profiled on CR4. Wikipedia provides a list of 48 Irish engineers of which CR4 has profiled two: William Mulholland and Peter Rice. (None of the 33 Irish scientists have been profiled.)

In order to remedy this in the quickest way possible I decided to write about a whole family of engineers - the Fogertys.

The first thing you've got to get straight about the Fogertys is that their naming logic didn't follow traditional convention. Joseph Fogerty Sr.'s nephew was his namesake, rather than one of his sons. (The original Joseph Fogerty didn't get the title, either.) Here's a chart that explains the family relationships a little better:

John Fogerty and Joseph Fogerty Sr.

John Fogerty and Joseph Fogerty Sr. were brothers that were born to a family of builders in Limerick in the early 1800s. John was a millwright, civil engineer, architect, and builder who built the Limerick Athenaeum and St. John's Square in Limerick. He proposed the New Limerick Custom House for Commissioners of Customs.

Joseph, his brother, was a builder and architect. He built several houses and the Theatre Royal on Henry Street.

John Fogerty's Sons: Joseph and William

John had two sons - Joseph and William. Joseph was a civil engineer, architect, and novelist. He studied both under his father and at the University College, London. After college he worked as an assistant on railway projects for John Fowler in London and later constructed water and steam power mills and factories in Ireland. Joseph created a plan for an elevated rail system in Vienna which was used in a modified form in 1882. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1880 and published three novels - Lauterdale, Caterina, and Countess Irene.

William was another student of Queen's College, Cork. While he was there he helped plan a new road to the college. He later went into an architectural partnership with his father in Limerick where the pair designed a villa and town hall for the Limerick Art Exhibition in 1858. William eventually moved to New York where he delivered a paper on architecture in America. He later returned to Limerick.

Joseph Fogerty Sr.'s Sons: Robert and George

Joseph also had two sons, Robert and George. Robert, like his cousin Joseph, attended the school of engineering at Queen's College, Cork and worked as an assistant on railway projects for John Fowler in London. He worked for a time in India in the department of public works. Upon returning to Limerick Robert entered into an architectural partnership with his father.

George served in Egypt as a fleet surgeon in the Royal Navy.

William Fogerty's Son: John Frederick

John Frederick Fogerty was William's son. He studied at Queen's College, Cork and received a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1883. In addition to following the family line of work in Limerick, he branched out as an architect in London, Shropshire, and Bournemouth. He also worked at Pretoria's public works department, and in Zambia as a borough surveyor. John Frederick served in South Africa, the Isle of Wright, Palestine, and India during World War I.

Robert Fogerty's Sons: John and George

Robert Fogerty had at least five sons. George is noted as having hand-colored maps of property in Limerick for the Limerick City Council.

And that's the story of a whole bunch of Johns and Josephs helping to engineer things in Ireland and across the globe! How many engineers are there in your family?


Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720-1940, Limerick Museum, Limerick City,


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Re: The Fogerty Family: Irish Builders and Architects

03/17/2013 8:35 AM

The list of 'Irish Scientists' is woefully incomplete. It does not include one of the most famous Irish scientists, George FitzGerald, who first published a paper explaining the null result of the Michaelson-Morley experiment with the notion of length contraction (the FitzGerald, or Lorentz-FitzGerald Contraction) which was the key to Einstein's Special Relativity theory.

Also not on the list is another Irish Physicist, FitzGerald's uncle George Johnstone Stoney, who was the physicist who coined the term 'electron'.

Perhaps the biggest omission is William Rowan Hamilton, Irish physicist, astronomer and mathematician famous for the quaternion in group theory mathematical physics and for Hamiltonian Mechanics in classical mechanics.

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Re: The Fogerty Family: Irish Builders and Architects

03/17/2013 8:51 AM

Thanks for pointing those guys out!

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Re: The Fogerty Family: Irish Builders and Architects

03/18/2013 5:59 AM

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Go for it!

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