An Independent Queensland Regional & Rural
(Cairns... Far North Queensland)
John Job Crew Bradfield
John Job Crew Bradfield was born
in Sandgate, Queensland on the 26 December 1867. He was educated at Ipswich
State School, Ipswich Grammar School and the University of Sydney, where he
graduated as a Bachelor of Engineering in 1889.
In 1891 he married Edith Jenkins.
They had six children.
In 1891 Bradfield joined the New
South Wales Department of Public Works as a temporary draftsman, becoming
permanent in 1895. He was involved in such major projects as the Cataract Dam
and Burrinjuck Dam. In 1909 he became assistant engineer and in 1913 he was
appointed chief engineer for metropolitan railway construction.
He went overseas in 1914 to study
railway construction and in the next few years wrote many papers advocating the
electrification of suburban railways. Work commenced on the underground railway
in 1923 and the first stations were opened in 1926.
In 1922 Bradfield was sent
overseas to inquire into tenders for a cantilever bridge. The 1922 Sydney
Harbour Bridge Act provided for either a cantilever or an arch bridge. In 1924
Bradfield recommended that the tender of Dorman Long & Co be accepted and
for eight years he represented the Government in its dealings with the
contractors. In 1924 he received the first doctorate of science in engineering
at Sydney University for his thesis on electric railways and the Sydney Harbour
The Sydney Harbour Bridge was
opened on 19 March 1932. Bradfield retired from the Public Service in the
In 1934 Bradfield was appointed
consulting engineer for the design and construction of the Story Bridge in
Brisbane, which was opened in 1940. He helped to design the University of
Queensland at St Lucia.
In his later years he advocated
ambitious schemes to irrigate western Queensland and central Australia.
He was a councillor of the
Institution of Engineers, Australia (1920-24), a member of the Senate of the
University of Sydney (1913-43), and a member of the Australian National Research
Bradfield died in Sydney on 23 September 1943.
RETURN TO: Bradfield Scheme - INDEX
Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870