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Martin, Charles Cyril (1831-1903)

Name: Martin, Charles Cyril (1831-1903)


Historical Note:

Charles Cyril Martin was born on August 30, 1831 in Springfield, Pa., the son of James and Lydia Bullock Martin. Previous to his matriculation at RPI he was an accepted local authority on land surveying and had taught in the local school. Through private tutoring and teaching he earned money on which to live and complete his studies, graduating from RPI with high honors in 1856. For a year he remained at RPI as a teacher in Geodesy and Mathematics, but declined to stay on as a professor.

Mr. Martin worked at the Brooklyn Water-works, then at the Trenton Locomotive Machine Manufacturing Company becoming familiar with iron work and bridge construction. In 1864 he was employed by the US government at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In 1865 he was made Chief Engineer of Prospect Park in Brooklyn bringing a successful completion to the work on landscaping, lakes, bridges, drives and drainage.

Mr. Martin entered the employ of New York and Brooklyn Bridge Co. as Principal Assistant Engineer and Superintendent under Washington A. Roebling in 1870. From its inception until its completion he had full charge of the execution of the work, the employment of men, the purchase of materials, and the auditing of bills. Becoming Chief Engineer and Superintendent of this bridge in 1883, he held this position until 1902 when it was abolished and he was appointed Consulting Engineer to the new Department of Bridges. By the time of his death in 1903, he has completed 33 years of activity on behalf of the Brooklyn Bridge and more then 40 years of professional service on public works in Brooklyn.

He was a loyal alumnus of RPI and was president of its alumni association in 1884. In 1891 he received the unanimous vote of the alumni for the position of Director, an honor which he refused.

On August 9, 1859 Mr. Martin was married to Mary A. Read of Pittstown, NY. They had two sons, Charles B. and Kingsley L Martin and two daughters, Charlotte Hopper (Mrs. John J. Hopper) and Mary Blatchford (Mrs. George Blatchford). Both sons were engineers. Charles B. Martin worked for the NY Central Railroad. Kingsley Martin followed in his father’s footsteps as a civil engineer in bridge construction and became Chief Bridge Engineer in New York City in 1908.

Charles Cyril Martin died from a heart attack on July 11, 1903.





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