Gardiner C. Sims

Sims was a founder of Armington & Sims Engine Co. and at his death was president of the William A. Harris Steam Engine Company.

Gardiner C. Sims was on the board of the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now URI. He was also Vice President of the GLOBE NATIONAL BANK, No. 48 Weybosset Street, Providence, RI, and was president of the City Machine Company.


Gardiner C. Sims, president of the William A. Harris Steam Engine Company, died at his home in Providence, R. I., on March 20,1910. Mr. Sims was born in Niagara Falls, N. Y., July 31, 1845, and was educated there in the public schools. He began his engineering career with a four year apprenticeship at the locomotive works of the N. Y. C. & H. R. R. R. Co., West Albany, N. Y., afterward entering the Navy Yard at Brooklyn, N. Y., but returning to his former employers after three years to become their chief draftsman. He next became superintendent of the J.C. Houdley Engine Works at Lawrence, Mass. Here he met Pardon Armington, with whom he formed a partnership for the manufacture of steam engines, both men devoting their entire time to experimental work as a result of which they gave to the world the quick-running engine, in opposition to the established engineering practice and precedents. They built the first successful engine for Thomas A. Edison, which was sent to the Paris Exposition with his first dynamo, in 1881. In 1876 Mr. Sims spent eight months at the Centennial Exposition and was appointed democratic commissioner from the State of Rhode Island to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1892, where he was made chairman of the Exposition committee on electricity and electric and pneumatic appliances, and was a member of the committee on machinery and transportation. At the outbreak of the war with Spain, Mr. Sims volunteered, and was appointed Chief Engineer by the Navy Department and ordered to the navy yard at Boston. For his work in this branch of the service Mr. Sims was made a lieutenant-commander and received congratulatory letters from Secretary Long and Engineer-in-Chief George W. Melville. At the close of the war he was summoned by the War Department to assume the position of superintending engineer of the United States Army Transport Service, and discharged his duties with honor until the completion of the work. He was appointed police commissioner in 1902, and at the time of his death was connected with the William A. Harris Steam Engine Company of Providence, R. I.


164,942 Improvement in Governors for Steam-Engines (J.C. Houdley Engine Works)
292,466 Lubricator (Armington & Sims Engine Company)

1)Transactions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers