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British Industrial History

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George Henry Cook

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George Henry Cook (1869-1938)


1938 Obituary [1]

GEORGE HENRY COOK was for twenty-five years governing director and chairman of Messrs. James Walker and Company, Ltd., of Woking, manufacturers of packing for steam plants. He was born at Newport, I. of W., in 1869, and from 1884 to 1887 he received his training locally with Mr. E. Punch, with whom he was employed on general engineering work. After a year's study at King's College, London, Mr. Cook joined Mr. James Walker in 1888, with whom he was associated until Mr. Walker's death in 1913.

Mr. Walker was experimenting with improvements in stuffing box packings demanded by the introduction of steam under higher pressures in triple-expansion engines. From small beginnings the firm grew, largely due to Mr. Cook's efforts, and branches were opened, first in the principal ports of the United Kingdom; while later similar arrangements were made for handling the company's products on the Continent. In 1894 Mr. Cook was made mechanical and technical works manager and in 1898 general manager; the firm was formed into a private limited liability company in 1911, when he was appointed life joint managing director with Mr. Walker. He was largely responsible for the design of the special machinery used in the manufacture of the firm's products and when the growth of the business demanded it, he took charge of the removal of the works from Poplar to Woking.

Shortly before his death he was engaged upon the layout of an extension of the premises. He also inaugurated the manufacture of the company's specialities in Australia. Mr. Cook, who was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1908 and was transferred to Membership in 1917, died at Great Bookham, Surrey, on 30th July 1938.


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