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British Industrial History

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Arthur William James

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Arthur William James (1845-1903)

1904 Obituary [1]

ARTHUR WILLIAM JAMES WAS born in Calcutta on 21st July 1845.

At the age of thirteen he lost both his parents, and being one of a large family left with small provision, was removed from school, and apprenticed in 1859 at the Government Dockyard, Kidderpore. There he served his full time in the workshop, and was eventually drafted into the marine service, where he continued until passing his examination as second engineer.

In March 1869 he passed as a first-class engineer, and continued in various mercantile vessels until the end of 1873.

On coming to England he passed the Board of Trade examination for first-class engineers, and then returned to India in the same year, when he was employed for some time as chief engineer in the vessels of the India General Steam Navigation Co.

In 1882 he obtained his first shore appointment as outdoor foreman for Messrs. John King and Co., Calcutta, where he remained until March 1884, when he was appointed superintending engineer of the Calcutta Steam Navigation Co.

This position he held until 1894, when he left to open a ferry service at Chittagong, then much needed. Want of sufficient capital prevented his accomplishing this, and, returning to Calcutta, ho joined the Calcutta Landing and Shipping Co. as superintending engineer, with which firm he remained till the time of his death.

Among his inventions may be mentioned an apparatus for heating the feed-water of steam boilers, and also a device for improving exhaust steam automatic surface condensers.

His death took place at Balasore, Bengal, on 22nd February 1903, in his fifty-eighth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1893.

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