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British Industrial History

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George Best Martin

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George Best Martin (1847-1901)

1901 Obituary [1]

GEORGE BEST MARTIN was born on 11th December 1847, near Brighton.

He received his education at Cliffe House Academy, Lewes, from 1859 to 1863.

On leaving school he gained workshop experience in a small repairing shop attached to a steam and water flour-mill belonging to his father at Horsebridge, Sussex.

At the age of twenty he determined to adopt engineering as a profession, and was articled in 1869 to Mr. N. P. Burgh, consulting engineer, of London.

At the expiration of his time in 1871 he was engaged as draughtsman for about nine months by Mr. Symington, engineer to the A.B.C. Sewage Co.

In 1872 he entered the drawing office of Messrs. James Watt and Co., Soho Foundry, Birmingham, where he remained until 1895, when the works were dismantled. During the last sixteen years of that time he was chief draughtsman, and designed a great deal of work, being chiefly responsible for the details of work for the shops.

With the late Mr. J. W. Gray he designed the large pumping engines at Whitacre for the Corporation of Birmingham. He took great interest in tube drawing, especially in solid-drawn steel tubes, and the difficulties of that process were largely surmounted by his and the late Mr. W. C. Stiff's skill and experimental labour.

Hence when he left the Soho Foundry, he became works manager to the British Seamless Steel Tube Co., and ultimately general manager. He brought out many processes and inventions for the manufacture of steel tubes, and also aluminium tubes. For annealing the latter he designed a special furnace heated by superheated steam.

He resigned his position of general manager in October 1900 through failing health, brought on by influenza, and went to Bournemouth, where his death took place on 15th February 1901, at the age of fifty-three.

He became an Associate Member of this Institution in 1896.

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