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British Industrial History

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Charles O'Connor

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Charles O'Connor (1823-1903)

by 1880 his address was Mersey Steel and Iron Works

by 1885 of Mersey Forge, Liverpool.

1903 Obituary [1]

CHARLES O'CONNOR was born in Manchester on 23rd November 1823, and was educated in the same city.

After leaving school he was apprenticed to Messrs. Sharp, Roberts and Co., Falkner Street, Manchester, machine manufacturers, but owing to the dissolution of partnership about 1840, he went to Messrs. Sharp Brothers, Oxford Road, Manchester, locomotive builders, where he finished his apprenticeship in 1844.

In 1846 he was sent to Paris by the same firm to establish a locomotive works there for Messrs. Ernest Gouin, where he remained for about two and a half years, until after the Revolution broke out in 1848.

He then returned to Manchester, and remained with Messrs. Sharp Brothers until 1852, when he was offered the position of crank turner, and after two years was made foreman over the machinery department of Messrs. Beyer, Peacock and Co., Gorton, Manchester, and remained in this position for seven years.

Shortly after this he was appointed manager at the works of Messrs. Slaughter and Grunning, Avonside Engine Works, Bristol, which position he occupied for seven years, when he became works manager for Messrs. Stothert and Pitt, Bath.

Upon relinquishing this position in 1870, he was appointed Superintendent of the Machinery and Fitters Department, at Messrs. John Elder and Co., Fairfield Engine Works, Govan, Glasgow, where he remained for nine years.

He next became works manager to Messrs. Maudslay, Sons and Field, London, where he remained for a considerable time.

He was next offered the position of manager of the Mersey Forge, Liverpool, where he was actively occupied in the production of several important works, amongst which may be mentioned the manufacture of the largest solid crank (in those days), for the S.S. "Servia," and also the largest iron stern-frame, weighing over 40 tons, for the S.S. "City of Rome." He continued in this position until the firm dissolved.

Upon the closing of these works, he commenced business in Liverpool on his own behalf, as consulting engineer, which occupation ho continued to follow.

His death took place at his residence in Liverpool on 18th October 1903, in his eightieth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1868.

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