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British Industrial History

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George Bean

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George Bean (1855-1924)

1855 Born in Stamford, Lincolnshire, where he grew up.

Became a bank clerk; while working for a bank in Dudley, he met Mary Harper.

Soon became financial manager of Allen Everitt and Sons of Smethwick.

After his marriage to Mary Harper, George left his job with Allen Everitt and Sons and joined the Harper family business.

1901 George Bean became the principal shareholder in the company.

1907 George became chairman and the name of the company was changed to A. Harper, Sons and Bean.

1908 George Bean became Mayor of Dudley in 1908, and again in 1911, and 1912.

1911 Copper and tube manufacturer, employer, living with his wife, son and 2 daughters in Dudley [1]

The business greatly prospered during the First World War thanks to a plentiful supply of ministry contracts for munitions. The factory buildings were extended in order to increase the production of shrapnel and shell cases.

By 1916 around 21,000 shell cases were produced every week.

After the war George received a knighthood for his services to the war effort, and his only son John, known as Jack, who also worked in the business, was made a CBE.

1919 George Bean and Mary Ann Bean listed at Oakham Lodge, Dudley.[2]

1924 Died in Dudley


1924 Obituary [3]

Sir GEORGE BEAN, J.P., died at his Dudley residence, Oakham Lodge, on January 23, 1924.

Sir George - who was sixty-eight years old - was the Chairman of A. Harper Sons & Bean, Ltd., the manufacturers of the cars bearing his name, and, in conjunction with his son, Mr. J. H. Bean, he developed this very old-established business into one of the most prominent concerns in the country.

During the war the Bean organization did much to speed up the supplies of munitions to the fighting forces, and in recognition of this and his many public services the honour of Knighthood was conferred upon him by the King in 1919.

Sir George was also Chairman of Messrs. Allen, Everitt & Sons, Ltd., of Smethwick, and a Director of Messrs. Manning, Wardle & Co., Ltd., of Leeds, and, in addition to his many commercial and industrial activities, occupied himself with public affairs to an extent equalled by few.

He was an Alderman of the Borough of Dudley, and was three times Mayor—in 1908-9, 1911-12, and 1912-13. He was Chairman of the local Housing and Finance Committees, Chairman of the Overseers, the Mayor's Auditor, a Justice of the Peace (Borough and County), and a Member of the Education, Public Works and General Purposes, Streets, Tramways and Lighting, Special County Council and Public Libraries Committees.

Sir George was also a Member of the Council of the Training College, Governor of the Dudley Educational Foundation, a Trustee of the R. U. Dudley Homes for Necessitous Gentlefolk, a Trustee of Baylies' and Parsons' Charities, and Chairman of the Birmingham and Midland Counties Nerve Hospital. Dudley and district owe very much to Sir George Bean. On two occasions Sir George had the honour of welcoming Royalty to his works : H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught visited them shortly after the war, and H.R.H. The Prince of Wales in June of last year.

Sir George Bean was an original member of the Institute of Metals and served upon the Council from 1915 to 1918.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1911 census
  2. Western Daily Press - Monday 01 December 1919
  3. 1924 Institute of Metals: Obituaries
  • A. Harper, Sons and Bean [1]