Anderson, John

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John Anderson

John Anderson, a Scottish blacksmith who arrived in Canterbury on one of the first four ships, was the father of New Zealand engineering.

His business began in a small blacksmith's shop on the plains at Riccarton "amidst the fern, flax and tussock" and grew to become the huge Canterbury Foundry - the first in the province and a pioneer in making iron lamp posts, screw wool presses, flax-stripping machinery, gas machinery, boilers, dredges and railway bridges.

Anderson was a member of Christchurch's first town board. In 1869 he became the borough's second mayor and was one-time president of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of Lyttelton Harbour Board and chairman of the first licensing committee.