Lewis Evans

Lewis Evans

Lewis Evans, 1853 – 1930

 

The second son of John Evans and a great-nephew of John Dickinson, Lewis had mathematical and scientific interests which ideally suited him to a career in the paper industry. He

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Lewis became a partner in 1881, then a General Manager in 1889 and later Chairman. During his period in the company the expansion and modernisation continued apace and included replacing the waterwheels with water turbines and introducing a railway link into the Croxley works. He was a flamboyant character having swum the Niagara river some 100 yards below the falls. He was often to be seen locally riding his silver plated penny-farthing bicycle. Later when he acquired a motor car it became stuck on the hump-back canal bridge close to Nash Mills. The opening up of agencies in South Africa was a particular interest of his.recognised the danger of fire to papermills and formed the first fire brigade for them. Soon acquiring a horse drawn steam pump for increased efficiency. He acted as captain of the brigade and there are pictures of him as the Fire captain wearing a silver helmet.

A portrait of Lewis Evans with some of his navigational instruments.

Outside his business life he played a part in the life of the County acting as High Sheriff in 1914, he was also a staunch churchman assisting with the Diocesan finances. He had inherited his father’s love of collecting but his interests were in ancient mathematical, navigational and astronomical books and instruments. His collection, believed to be one of the finest in the world, was donated to Oxford University and can now be seen there in the Museum of the History of Science. Its presentation brought him an honorary doctorate.