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Arthur Titley

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Arthur Titley (c1862-1948)

1890 of Samuel Fisher and Co, Nile Foundry, Sheepcote Street, Birmingham.


1948/49 Obituary [1]

Mr. Arthur Titley, an Original Member of the Institute of Metals, died at his home at Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, on 19 December 1948, aged 85 years.

Born in Birmingham, Mr. Titley served his apprenticeship, from 1881 to 1885, with Messrs Samuel Fisher and Co., Nile Foundry; subsequently he served as a draughtsman with this firm, with Messrs. Morewood and Co., Smethwick, and with other firms.

In 1905 he started a consulting practice in Birmingham with Mr. Charles H. Wall, which lasted until his retirement in 1932.

His work in connection with plant for metal rolling and drawing and general engineering led Mr. Titley to take an interest in the history of engineering and he was responsible for founding the Newcomen Society on the occasion of the centenary of the death of James Watt in 1919. He was first President of the Society (1920-22), and to mark its coming of age he was elected for a further period of office in 1942-43. Mr. Titley collaborated with Dr. H. W. Dickinson in 1933 to write a volume to commemorate the centenary of Trevithick's death: "Robert Trevithick, the Engineer and the Man"; he also collaborated in editing in 1938 "John Smeaton's Diary of His Journey to the Low Countries in 1755".

Mr. Titley was one of the oldest members of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, having been elected in 1890.


1948 Obituary [2]

"Birmingham will be sorry to learn of the death of Arthur Titley, on December 19th, in his eighty-sixth year, after a long illness, at his home, "Beechwood," Four Oaks, Sutton Goldfield. He was Birmingham-born, the youngest of five children, and not an "offcome," as have been so many who have attained eminence there, for his father was the representative in that city of a well-known brewery firm.

It might have been expected that young Titley would have followed a business career, but his predilection was for mechanical engineering. Hence, he was apprenticed, from 1881-85, with Messrs. Samuel Fisher and Co., Nile Foundry, a firm of millwrights ; subsequently, as so many have done, he served as draughtsman with this firm, with Messrs. Morewood and Co., Woodford Works, Smethwick, and others.

In 1905, in partnership with Charles H. Wall, M.I.Mech.E., he started a consulting practice at Curzon Chambers, Paradise Street; this lasted till 1932, when he retired. His work was concerned with plant and factories for metal rolling, wire and tube drawing, and general engineering. Thus he came into contact with many old industrial plants, which clearly gave his mind a slant in the direction of what became his major interest, i.e., the history of his profession. This led eventually to his founding of the Newcomen Society for the Study of the History of Engineering and Technology, and for this he will be chiefly remembered....Read more


1949 Obituary [3]

"ARTHUR TITLEY died on 19th December 1948, in his eighty sixth year, after a long illness at his home, Beechwood, Four Oaks, Sutton Goldfield.

He was the youngest of five children of a Birmingham business man and early showed a predilection for mechanical engineering, with the result that he was apprenticed, 1881-85, to Messrs. Samuel Fisher and Co., Millwrights, of Nile Foundry, with whom after his time with Messrs. Morewood and Company, Woodford Works, Smethwick, and with others, he worked as a draughtsman.

In 1895, in partnership with the late Charles H. Wall, Member, he commenced as a consultant at Curzon Chambers, Paradise Street, to firms engaged in metal rolling, tube and wire drawing, and general engineering; he retired in 1932. In the course of his work he came across much old plant and this directed his mind to what eventually became his major interest in life—the history of mechanical engineering —resulting, by the opportunity afforded by the foregathering of like minds at the James Watt Centenary Commemoration in 1919 in Birmingham, in the foundation of the Newcomen Society for the Study of the History of Engineering and Technology; it is for this that he will be chiefly remembered. He was elected first President 1920-22, and President again in 1942-43, to mark the coming-of-age of the Society. He was joint author with Dr. H. W. Dickinson of the Memorial Volume "Richard Trevithick, the Engineer and the Man", 1934, and he collaborated in editing "John Smeaton's Diary of his Journey to the Low Countries" in 1938. He was of a retiring disposition and a kindly nature. He was elected to Membership on 29th July 1890 and was thus one of our oldest Members. He was a Founder Member of the Institute of Metals, 1908; he was also a Member of the Birmingham Association of Mechanical Engineers."

H. W. Dickinson, M.I.Mech.E.


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