15. Abraham Follett Osler

Abraham and Mary - October 1892

Big Brum Clock - Birmingham

Buried at The Birmingham General Cemetery (Key Hill)

Section K : 611

Died April 26, 1903 Aged 95 years.

Rev'd E. H. Manning Wrote in his book :-

Founder of the glass business of the firm F & C Osler. Inventor of the self-recording anemometer and rain gauge used at the Greenwich Observatory, Royal Exchange, London, Plymouth, Liverpool, Inverness and other Observatories at home and abroad. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, 1855. Donor of the Art Gallery clock and bells, Birmingham. A great lover of science and education and a large benefactor to the Birmingham and Midland Institute, Mason’s College, Birmingham University, etc.

The memorial inscription reads:-

In memory of Edith second daughter of Abraham Follett OSLER and Mary his wife who died on the 6th April 1839 aged 2 years. Also Florence Emily their sixth daughter who died on the 3rd of December 1863 aged 16 years. Also Edith Mary their fifth daughter who died on the 6th of March 1871 aged 27 years. Also Alice Follett their fourth daughter who died on the 9th of May 1884 aged 43 years. Also Mary wife of Abraham Follett OSLER born April 19th 1806 died February 11th 1897 in the 91st year of her age. Also Abraham Follett OSLER born March 22nd 1808 died April 26th 1903.

Doug’s Comments

A very interesting and again forgotten man. Abraham was a leading member of the Birmingham and Midland Institute and through the institute was linked with many notable people such as Edward Elgar, Charles Dickens and many leading Birmingham citizens such as Tangye, Kenrick, Martineau, Nettlefold, Chance and Cadbury. It is also interesting where he is buried at Key Hill, a section that holds so many notable people including the Chamberlain family. Osler Street was of course named after him.

Big Brum is the local name for the clock tower of the Council House, Birmingham, England.  The name refers to the clock and tower, not only the bell. The bell rings with Westminster Chimes similar to Big Ben in London. The clock tower (1885) is part of the first extension to the original Council House of 1879 and stands above the Museum & Art Gallery. The name alludes to the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster which houses the bell Big Ben. The clock was donated by A. Follett Osler, a local pioneer in the measurement of meteorological and chronological data.