RAILWAYS DIXON FAMILY and CHAT MOSS
Manuscripts and printed ephemera collected by the civil engineer and egyptologist Waynman Dixon (1844-1930), principally relating his uncle John Dixon the younger (1796-1865), chief assistant to George Stephenson and Resident Engineer during construction of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, as well as to the latter's father John Dixon the elder (1762-1816), colliery owner, and grandfather George Dixon (1731-1784), pioneer of gas lighting, chemist, mathematician, engraver, china-painter, engineer, geologist, coalmine operator and elder brother of Jeremiah Dixon, surveyor of the Mason-Dixon Line, the collection comprising: (i) autograph notebook kept by John Dixon Senior, recording colliery contracts taken out in partnership with his father George from Lord Darlington for mining and transport of coals from the Cockfield Colliery, beginning with "A Copy of a Proposal to Lord Darlington for the Colliery Septr 10th 1785 by my Father G: D" and concluding with "A Copy of an Agreement for Cockfield Fell Colliery, and supplying Raby Castle with Coals. 1786"; upper cover inscribed "Copies &s of Proposals and Agreements about Collieries &c" and inner "John Dixon's Book (1786)", with a "Survey of Spring Gardens 16 of 4mo 1822" added in pencil, the main part 17 pages, original calf, 8vo, 1785; (ii) autograph account by John Dixon Junior, written for Samuel Smiles describing his work on the L&MR crossing of Chat Moss, signed at the end in pencil "John Dixon Sep 30 1857", with an autograph letter to him by Smiles tipped in, dated 21 October 1857 ("...I only received your capital account of the Chat Moss operations, and read it with great interest. It is a graphic description of what was done, and will be of great service to me...") and prefaced by a note by Waynman ("...This account of the making of the Railway across Chat Moss 1830 was evidently written by him for Samuel Smiles, & is reproduced almost in extenso in his 'Lives of George & Robert Stephenson' page 210. Written Sep 30th 1857..."), 50 numbered leaves, additional leaves from a different stock of paper sewn in, half marble calf, small 4to; (iii) a page extracted from an autograph notebook kept by John Dixon listing notable dates in his life, starting: "Began to Level with Stephenson for the Railway 15 of 10mo [October] 1821"; (iv) a draft and fair copy of evidence given before a parliamentary enquiries by John Dixon Junior, the first c. 1831, the second headed "Memorandums, Observations & Evidence for the Stephenson's Chester and Birkenhead Railway by John Dixon": (v) a letter to John Dixon Junior on his retirement from the same Railway Company, 1842; (vi) four sheets of railway tickets printed on coloured sheets (each sheet with a ticket cut out at the top left-hand corner), the tickets being for the Slow Train, Yarm Branch to Darlington, third class; the same line but inside and first class; first class Aycliffe Road to Stockton; and outside, first class for Shildon to St Helen's; (vii) lithograph of George Stephenson and John Dixon's proposed plan for the Mersey extension of the Chester & Birkenhead Railway [between 1840 and 1844]; (viii) a set of reprints taken from the original plates of etchings made by John Dixon in 1774, many showing mining scenes in Durham; (ix) drafts, typescripts and correspondence for Waynman's Intimate Story of the Origin of Railways (1925), and further correspondence and research notes by him on George Dixon's pioneering work on gas lighting; and other material, etc.