30.5.1810 Halifax/UK - 10.6.1889 Moor Park/UK
John Frederic La Trobe Bateman was apprenticed at the age of 15 to a "civil engineer" and land surveyor in Oldham. He began his own practice in 1833 with the flooding of the River Medlock in Manchester. Later, he prepared with a colleague the groundwork for the Bann Reservoir in Northern Ireland and from 1845 the Kendal Reservoirs. Bateman was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1860 and presided over the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1878-79.
The greatest monument to the work of Bateman is Manchester's water supply. He was consulted in 1844, and construction began four years later. He first built reservoirs in the Longdendale Valley for which an earth embankment was favored with a gravity feed rather than a pumping system. The five reservoirs in the valley impounded the Etherow River. When completed, these dams were greatly at risk from landslides and ground movement. Later dams were inserted by Bateman to prevent water loss. The scheme was not completed until 1877, by which time Manchester's population had exceeded the capacity of the original scheme. Therefore, the Thirlmere site in Cumbria was chosen by the Manchester Corporation for the first Lake-District water supply schemes. Bateman designed both the great stone-faced dam at the west end of the lake and the 100 mile pipeline to Manchester. This work was completed in 1894 by a colleague of Bateman. The latter was also consulted by the authorities in Glasgow, with the result that he constructed an impressive water supply scheme derived from Loch Katrine between 1856 and 1860. It was claimed that the scheme bore comparison, with "the most extensive aqueducts in the world, not excluding those of ancient Rome".
Anonymous (1889). The late Mr. J.F. La Trobe Bateman. Engineering 47: 672-673. Bateman, J.F. (1865). Metropolis water supply. Vacher: Westminster.
Bateman, J.F. (1884). History and description of the Manchester Waterworks. Day: Manchester. Binnie, G.M. (1981). Early Victorian water engineers. Telford: London. P
Day, L., McNeil, I. eds. (1996). Bateman, John Frederic La Trobe. Biographical dictionary of the history of technology: 45-46. Routledge: London.
Norrie, C.M. (1956). John F. La Trobe Bateman. Bridging the years - A short history of British civil engineering: 63. Arnold: London. P
Russell, P.E. (1980). John Frederic La Trobe FRS: Water engineer. Institute of Science and Technology, University: Manchester; also Trans. Newcomen Society 52: 119-138. P P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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