- Also known as
primary name: Bragge, William
- individual; collector; scientist/engineer; British; Male
- Life dates
- Civil engineer, master cutler of Sheffield, watch manufacturer, collector, author. Following railway and civil engineering/surveying projects in Britain and then South America, employed in Sheffield in heavy engineering, became master cutler, helped found the Western Park Museum, was active in civic life, became a proficient linguist and an extensive traveller (Europe, Russia, Egypt and America). In Birmingham following an unsuccessful civil engineering project in Paris, Bragge developed a successful watch making firm while continuing to add to his numerous collections – including nearly every work written by the Spanish writer Cervantes, European gems (for the Birmingham Art Gallery) and, notably 13,000 smoking pipes, publishing in 1880 his 'Bibliotheca Nicotiana’, a catalogue of books about tobacco, and associated objects. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Anthropological Society, the Royal Geographical Society, and of many foreign societies.
The British Museum has over 2000 objects from Bragge’s collection. Over 80% of these objects, which come from all parts of the world, are tobacco or smoking pipes.
- 'Bibliotheca nicotiana: A catalogue of books about tobacco, together with a catalogue of objects connected with the use of tobacco in all its forms', 1880.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography