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David Colville Bruce

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David Colville Bruce (1872-1938)

1938 Obituary [1]

DAVID COLVILLE BRUCE had a long experience of harbour machinery, particularly dredgers and elevators, in the Argentine Republic. He was a native of Errol, Perthshire, where he served his apprenticeship from 1888 to 1894 in Messrs. R. G. Morton's Errol Engineering Works. After further practical experience in the engine shops of Messrs. Barclay, Curle and Company, of Glasgow, he entered the drawing office of Messrs. Potts, Cassels, and Williamson, of Motherwell, for whom he was engaged on the design of centrifugal machines and mixing tanks.

He also superintended the erection of machinery in the sugar refinery of Messrs. Abram Lyle and Company, Ltd., London. He joined Messrs. James Carrick and Son, Ltd., crane makers, of Edinburgh, in 1899, and was later responsible for the design work for a large order of electric wharf cranes for the Argentine. In 1906 he himself left for South America, and was engaged by the Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway to superintend the erection of machinery at Galvan, a harbour then being built on the Bahia Blanca and North Western Branch of the railway.

Before completing this work, Mr. Bruce invented a combined crane and elevator which enabled the loading capacity to be increased from 35 tons to 100 tons per hour per crane, using the same space previously occupied by one crane only. Subsequently he was appointed engineer in charge of all the harbour equipment, including a 16,000-ton grain elevator. By 1913, three other grain elevators, built to Mr. Bruce's designs, had been added. In 1925 the management of the Bahia Blanca and North Western Railway was transferred to the Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway. Mr. Bruce remained at Galvan, and took over the additional duties of the maintenance of the dredgers, tugs, barges, etc., employed at the latter railway's port, Ingeniero White, situated 2 miles downstream.

In 1934 he was appointed mechanical engineer for both the ports. At Ingeniero White the equipment included several large grain elevators, the latest to be erected having a total storage capacity of 80,000 tons, and a steamer-loading capacity of 10,000 tons per hour. Since 1922 Mr. Bruce had also acted as surveyor to Lloyd's Register of Shipping.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1912. His death occurred, in his sixty-sixth year, on 10th May 1938.

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