Edward Alfred Cowper
Edward Alfred Cowper, (1819-1893), mechanical engineer. He designed the wrought-iron roof of the New Street Station in Birmingham, which, with a span of 211 feet, was the largest iron roof at the time of its completion. In 1846-7 he helped found the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In 1851, he supervised the drawings for the Great Exhibition building (the Crystal Palace), and its later redesign and re-erection in Sydenham in 1852-4. His lasting achievement came in 1857, when he invented the regenerative hot blast stove, called 'the Cowper stove', which improved the hot blast process of steelmaking. The regenerative stove is still in widespread use in the iron, steel, glass, and other manufacturing processes. He died at his home, 'Rastricke' in Pine Grove, Weybridge.