Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer, of Dublin and Calcutta. William Bernard Maccabe, named after his grandfather, a well-known author and historian, was born on 29 March 1864, one of the three sons of Sir Francis Xavier Frederick Maccabe, doctor and medical commissioner of the Local Government Board for Ireland from 1888 to 1898.(1) After working from 1882 to 1885 as a chemical assistant to Sir Charles Cameron, who had been placed in charge of the sanitary department of Dublin Corporation, he studied engineering at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating BAI in 1889.(2) From June of that year until August 1890 he was employed by THOMAS J. DIXON  THOMAS J. DIXON as contractor's engineer on the Limerick Waterworks, from August 1890 until March 1891 by JOHN HENRY RYAN  JOHN HENRY RYAN on the Galway & Clifden Railway, and from March until November 1891 by Dixon again, this time as contractor's engineer on the Bray & Enniskerry Railway, which was abandoned for financial reasons. In January 1892 he entered the City Engineer's Department of Dublin Corporation as assistant engineer on the Dublin main drainage under SPENCER HARTY SPENCER HARTY . He was placed in charge of the waste water department of the City waterworks in February 1894(3) and in 1896 became head of the entire waterworks department. He made a special study of chemistry in relation to waterworks engineering and of electrolytic action on underground water mains. In 1903 he was appointed City Engineer of Calcutta, a post which was described in the Irish Builder as being 'in respect of position, salary, and emoluments one of the great prizes of the engineering profession'. His original five-year appointment was renewed for a further ten years in 1908;(4) by 1916, however, he had moved to Tasmania and by 1933 to Western Australia. He was still living in 1938.

Inst.CE: elected associate member, 4 December 1894; transferred to member, 28 January 1902; resigned from membership, 25 January 1938.
Institute of Chemistry: fellow by 1894.

Addresses: Belville, Donnybrook, Dublin, 1894; Park Cottage, Kilgobbin, Co. Dublin, 1901; Kismet, Clarence Point, West Tamar, Tasmania, 1916; The Australian Wood Pipe Co., Carlisle, near Perth, Western Australia, 1933; The Australian Wood Pipe Co. Ltd, Miller Street, Victoria Park, Western Australia.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the records of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London (kindly supplied by Mrs Carol Morgan, archivist) and IB 45, 30 Jul 1903, ?

(1) Who Was Who 1897-1916, 446.
(2) R.C. Cox, compiler, Trinity College School of Engineering: 'Graduates' in Engineering 1843-1992 (1993), unpaginated, gives the date as 1890.
(3) This is the date given in his candidate's circular for admission as an associate member of the Inst.CE of November 1894; in his candidate's circular for transfer to member of November 1901 he states that he was in charge of the waste water department from 1893 to 1894 and of the country portion of the waterworks from 1894 to 1896.
(4) IB 50, 25 Jan 1908, 37.