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British Industrial History

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Alexander Bertram

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Alexander Bertram (1853-1899)

1899 Obituary [1]

Alexander Bertram was born at Salton, Haddingtonshire, on 9th November 1853. He served his apprenticeship from January 1869 to November 1874 in the fitting shop and drawing office of the Wigan Coal and Iron Co., and daring that time studied also in the engineering dunes of the Wigan Mining and Mechanical School He remained in the drawing office till February 1877, when he superintended the erection of pumping and hauling machinery at their Ladies Lane Colliery, Hindley.

From October 1877 to the end of 1878 he was employed as foreman over outside fitters; and on 1st January 1879 was appointed superintendent of machinery under the Mines Regulation Act, for a large section of the company's collieries.

At the end of 1879 he became mechanical engineer to the company, having charge of all the machinery connected with their collieries producing two million tons of coal per annum, and with an extensive steelworks and a range of ten blast-furnaces. In order absolutely to prevent over-winding at the collieries, and also to prevent winding engines from being started in the wrong direction, he invented and applied successfully an arrangement known as the ‘visor,’ which has been adopted at many other collieries both in this country and abroad.

In 1896 he was appointed mechanical engineer to Messrs. Newton, Chambers, and Co., Thorncliffe Iron Works and Collieries, near Sheffield.

His death, due to a short severe attack of pneumonia, took place on 10th January 1899, at the age of forty-five.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1890.

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