Following my earlier comment on Henry Fuller Hobden, as expected there has been no sighting of the missing drawing, so I have had to use my own engineering experience in making working drawings of the engine; work is ongoing. However, I have been able to make a more comprehensive study of the Hobden family’s contribution to the Boy’s Own Paper.
The first contribution I can find was by Frank Hobden, in April 1881, illustrating an unattributed article entitled Leading Types of Yachts. He provided various illustrations and “page-fillers” (title blocks, footers and other small illustrations – I’m sure there is a proper name for them) for a number of years, and the last one I can find was in July 1889.
H.F. Hobden first appeared in May 1881 with a page-filler, and he followed with fillers and illustrations of other people’s articles until his first article The Boy’s Own Model Launch Engine which started in October1884. Many other articles, covering a wide range of topics including constructional projects, appeared until August 1918. There was then a long gap until his final article Building the “B.O.P.” Sailing Dinghy (under the name H. Fuller Hobden) in May 1930.
I was interested to discover that on July 18, 1912 he made an application to the United States Patent Office, which starts “Be it known that I, HENRY FULLER HOBDEN, subject of the King of England, residing at Longlands, Benfleet, Essex, England, have invented a certain new and Improved Game Apparatus…”. This gives us the address of another of his residences at Benfleet.
Returning to the B.O.P., for a couple of years from 1881 one Arthur Hobden was credited as an illustrator, and I have identified four illustrations which are probably by him. Was this another brother?