Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Master Joseph Gordon
29 July 1862

Volume 8, page 334, sitting number 10,957.    

Born in London in 1851, Joseph Gordon Gordon was the only child of the Scottish civil engineer Lewis Dunbar Brodie Gordon. His mother was Dorothee Wilhelmine Marianne (née Heise, formerly Glünder), originally from Hanover in Germany, who died at Geneva in 1868.

At the time of the 1861 census the family were living at 8 Porchester Terrace in Bayswater, a few doors from Silvy’s studio.

In 1871 Joseph was lodging at 12 St Petersburg Place in Bayswater, a nineteen-year-old ‘Student at the Royal School of Mines.’

His father died on 26 April 1876 at Poynter’s Grover, Totteridge, Hertfordshire. He left an estate valued at £80,000.

On 2 November 1906 the Ross-shire Journal published a lengthy account of his father's career. The article ends with a paragraph detailing some of Joseph’s accomplishments. ‘He was born at 8 Porchester Terrace, Hyde Park, November 3, 1851, where according to Constable’s memoirs of his father he had thirty-six drums in his nursery. He was trained at the School of Mines, Jermyn Street, in which his father took so much interest. He is connected with a mining business in Wales, and several patents stand to his name [list of seven patents follows]. He went to the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876 with his aunt and her husband, Siemens. He was one of the executors of Siemens’ will (dated Aug. 21, 1882; proved December, 29, 1883), the value of the personal property being a little over £380,000. […] Mr Gordon was made a J.P. for Glamorganshire in 1897, is a member of the Athenæum, and resides at Queen Anne’s Mansions, Westminster. He is unmarried.’

Joseph Gordon Gordon never married. He died, aged 81, on 12 January 1933 at his flat in Queen Anne’s Mansions. He left an estate valued at £136,151.

‘The death of the veteran mining engineer Mr Joseph Gordon Gordon, at Queen Anne’s Mansions, London, where he has lived for many years, recalls the fact that his father, the brilliant engineer Lewis Dunbar Brodie Gordon, who was born in the year of Waterloo and died in 1876, was the designer of the famous St Rollox Chimney in Glasgow. Lewis Gordon was a remarkable man, and is still remembered for his work on the mathematics of construction […]. He married a Hanoverian lady, while his sister married Sir William Siemens, with whose firm his son Joseph has been connected for many years. Joseph was born and lived all his life in London, and had few contacts with Scotland. The family once owned the estate of Carrill in Sutherland.’

Nevertheless, Joseph was clearly proud of his father’s roots. When he travelled to New York in 1906 and 1922, on both occasions the passenger list recorded his nationality as ‘Scottish.’

code: cs1614
Master Joseph Gordon, Joseph Gordon, Gordon, Joseph Gordon Gordon, Lewis Dunbar Brodie Gordon, Camille Silvy, Silvy