Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Partington, Charles Frederick

PARTINGTON, CHARLES FREDERICK (d. 1857?), scientific writer, was a professor of mechanical philosophy who, on the titles of his books, always designated himself as ‘of the London Institution.’ He was a lecturer on modern improvements in mechanics and on other subjects at mechanics' institutions, and edited and wrote many works treating on the sciences and on the practical working of various trades. In 1825 he brought out ‘Lectures on Select Subjects in Mechanics and Hydrostatics, by J. Ferguson, F.R.S., adapted to the present state of science.’ In the same year he published ‘The Century of Inventions, by the Marquis of Worcester, with Notes and a Biographical Memoir.’ He likewise commenced editing ‘The Scientific Gazette, or Library of Mechanical Philosophy, Chemistry, and Discovery,’ which only ran from July 1825 to 4 Feb. 1826. In conjunction with William Newton, civil engineer, he edited and partly wrote the second series of ‘The London Journal of Arts and Sciences, containing descriptions of every new patent; also original communications on science and philosophy;’ this periodical went to nine volumes, 1834–42. In 1835, ‘assisted by authors of eminence in the various branches of science,’ he edited ‘The British Cyclopædia of Arts and Sciences, Literature, History, Geography, Law and Politics, Natural History and Biography,’ of which the tenth and last volume appeared in 1837. In this work he himself wrote division i. parts i.–xxv., division ii. parts i.–xxiv., division iii. parts i.–xi. In 1833–4 he edited a work which came out in eighteen parts, entitled ‘National History and Views of London and its Environs, from original drawings by eminent artists,’ 2 vols.; 2nd edit. 1835–7, 2 vols. He was likewise the author of the following: 1. ‘An Historical and Descriptive Account of the Steam Engine, comprising a General View of the Various Modes of employing Elastic Vapour as a Prime Mover in Mechanics,’ 1822; 3rd. edit. 1826. 2. ‘A Brief Account of the Royal Gardens, Vauxhall,’ 1822. 3. ‘The Printers' Complete Guide, containing a Sketch of the History and Progress of Printing,’ 1825. 4. ‘The Mechanics' Gallery of Science and Art,’ 1825, vol. i.; no more printed. 5. ‘The Shipbuilder's Complete Guide,’ 1825. 6. ‘The Clock and Watchmaker's Complete Guide,’ 1825. 7. ‘The Engraver's Complete Guide,’ 1825. 8. ‘A Course of Lectures on the Steam Engine, to which is subjoined a copy of the Work on Steam Navigation published by J. Hulls,’ 1826. 9. ‘A Manual of Natural and Experimental Philosophy,’ 1828, 2 vols. 10. ‘Introduction to the Science of Botany, illustrated by a series of highly finished delineations of the plants, coloured to represent Nature,’ 1835. 11. ‘An Account of Steam Engines,’ 1835. 12. ‘The Builder's Complete Guide,’ 1852. 13. ‘Introductory Account of Messrs. Muir and Company's Machinery for the Manufacture of Rifle Sights,’ 1857.

[Catalogue of Library of the Patent Office, 1881, i. 491; Allibone's English Literature, 1871, ii. 1518.]

G. C. B.