Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer, of Dublin. John Alexander Cameron Ruthven, son of John Ruthven, a Scottish locomotive engineer who came to Dublin to work at the Ringsend Foundry on Fitzwilliam Quay, was born in Scotland in 1850 or 1851.(1) He was apprenticed to his father at the foundry and continued to work there for eight years. He next spent four years as assistant to John Somerville, a Scottish engineer who worked for various gas companies in Ireland between 1869 and 1878. He then acted as manager to the Dublin iron founders, Ross, Murray & Co. before moving on to become works manager for W.H. Smith & Co. By this time, according to his own account, he was 'Patentee of Improved Tram Rails and Machines for forming and stamping Indices' and had invented 'improved pipe connections, capsuling and other machinery'. Ruthven retained his association with W.H. Smith & Co. after it was taken over by Eason & Son, for whom he designed new premises in Middle Abbey Street in 1905(2) and the reconstruction in ferro-concrete of both the Middle Abbey Street and Sackville Street premises after they had been destroyed in the rebellion of 1916.(3) These are his only works to be recorded in the Irish Builder apart from the stalls at a bazaar held in 1910 to raise money for the rebuilding of a national school for the parishes of St Werburgh and St Audoen.(4) He disappears from the directories in the early 1920s. He married twice:  by his first wife, Elizabeth Frances Digges, he had at least one daughter, Elizabeth Jane, born in 1876, and one son, John Charles Henry, born in 1878;(5) by his second wife, Emma, whom he married circa 1891, he had no children.(6)

ICEI: elected associate, 6 May 1885;(7) no longer on list of members for 1902 or thereafter.

Addresses: Work & Home: Fitzwilliam Quay, Ringsend, 1874; 20 Westland Row, and 2 Fitzwilliam Quay, Ringsend, 1875; 24 Sandymount Road, 1878; 60 Tritonville Road, Sandymount, 1879-1883; 50 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin, 1885-1889; 40 Lower Sackville Street, 1896-98.
Home only: 61 Park Avenue, Sandymount, 1894-1898; Achnacarry, 75 Park Avenue, Sandymount, 1900-1922; Hollywood, Temple Road Blackrock, 1923?

See WORKS.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Ruthven's candidate's circular for admission as an associate member of ICEI (ICEI Membership Applications, II, 110, Thom's directories and ICEI lists of members.

(1) 1911 Census, http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000116514/ (last visited Feb 2009).
(2)   IB 47, 8 Apr 1905, 221.
(3) IB 59, 13 Oct 1917, 524.
(4) IB 52, 11 Jun 1910, 381.
(5) www.familysearch.org.
(6) See note 1, above.
(7) TICEI 16 (1884-85), ? .


3 work entries listed in chronological order for RUTHVEN, JOHN ALEXANDER CAMERON


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Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ABBEY STREET MIDDLE, NO. 079-82 (EASON & SON)
Date: 1905
Nature: Rebuilding. Steel framework construction. Contractor: J.P. Pile.
Refs: IB 47, 8 Apr 1905, 221

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, O'CONNELL STREET LOWER, NO. 040 (EASON & SON)
Date: 1917
Nature: Rebuilding after destuction in rebellion. Mouchel Hennebique ferro-concrete construction. Opened Feb 1920. Contractor: J. & P. Good.
Refs: IB 59, 29 Sep,13 Oct 1917, 493,524; 62, 28 Feb 1920, 114;  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005),  219.

Building: CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, ABBEY STREET MIDDLE, NO. 079-82 (EASON & SON)
Date: 1917-1920
Nature: Rebuilding after destruction in rebellion. Built entirely of Mouchel-Hennebique ferro-concrete with Irish stone facing on street front. Opened Feb 1920. Contractor: J. & P. Good.
Refs: IB 59, 29 Sep,13 Oct 1917, 493,524; ; 63, 29 Jan 1921, 58(illus.);  Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 103.