John Isaac Thornycroft

John Isaac Thornycroft

Infobox Person
name = John Isaac Thornycroft

caption = Naval architect and founder of two firms carrying the Thornycroft name
birth_date = February 1843
birth_place = Vatican City, Rome
death_date = June 1928
death_place = Bembridge, Isle Of Wight

Sir John Isaac Thornycroft (1843–1928) was the founder of the Thornycroft shipbuilding company. [Herbert B. Mason (Editor). [ Encyclopaedia of Ships and Shipping.] London. 1908. pp. 630-631. [ Full view] available from GoogleBooks.] He was the son of Mary Thornycroft, the sculptress. [Sir John Isaac Thornycroft - 1843-1928. Obituary notice. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A. Vol. 121, No. 788 (Dec. 1, 1928), pp. xxxv-xxxvii ]

He established a shipbuilding yard on the River Thames at Chiswick in 1864. He built his first steam launch when he was 19 years old. In 1877, his first vessel for the Royal Navy was a motor torpedo boat.

His yard built a steam powered lorry which led them into the vehicle manufacturing business, the Thornycroft named business lasting until the late 20th century.

Thornycroft worked on means of aiding hull lubrication by air which also led him to hydrofoil. This led him to develop stepped chine hulls which used for 55 ft Coastal Motor Boats during the war gave them speeds of up to 40 knots. [ [ 1908 Thornycroft Model at The Hovercraft Museum ] at]

In 1904, he transferred larger shipbuilding activities to Southampton. In 1908 he also set up the Hampton Launch Works on Platts Eyot, an island on the Thames at Hampton, Middlesex.

This boatbuilding works concentrated on cabin cruisers and speedboats, but also produced small naval craft - Coastal Motor Boats in the First World War and Motor Torpedo Boats, Motor Launches and landing craft in the Second World War. Thornycrofts closed their boatbuilding operation on Platt's Eyot when they were taken over by Vospers in the mid-1960s.

The Southampton shipyard continues to operate as a VT Shipbuilding (Vosper-Thornycroft) company.

Sir John Thornycroft was the brother of Hamo Thornycroft, the British sculptor, and uncle of the war poet Siegfried Sassoon. His son Isaac Thomas Thornycroft skippered the motorboat Gyrinus II to two gold medals at 1908 Olympic Games.


External links

* [ History of Platts Eyot including photos of Thornycroft vessels]
* [ History of Thornycroft shipbuilding works at Chiswick including photos]

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