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British Industrial History

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Henry Smith (1849-1924)

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Henry Smith (1849-1924) of James Simpson and Co and Worthington Simpson


1924 Obituary [1]

HENRY SMITH was born at Arbroath on 25th February 1819.

He was educated locally, and afterwards served an apprenticeship of seven years at the works of Messrs. Pearce Bros., Lilybank Foundry, Dundee.

In 1872 he came to London and entered the works of Messrs. James Simpson and Co., Pimlico, first as an improver and shortly afterwards as a draughtsman, becoming chief draughtsman in 1877. During this period he was closely associated with the design and development of Beam Pumping Engines for which the firm had become famous.

It was then becoming evident that the era of the Beam Engine was passing, and about this period Henry R. Worthington had brought out the Compensated Worthington Pumping Engine, having developed it to a small extent.

In 1886 Mr. Smith accompanied the late Mr. J. G. Muir-Rumley on a visit to the United States to examine and test, at the works of Henry R. Worthington, this new form of pumping engine with a result that Messrs. Simpson and Co. became associated with the manufacture and development of it, which has continued to the present time.

The firm having been turned into a limited liability company, Mr. Smith was made a Director in 1890, and a few years ago the amalgamation took place with the Worthington Pump Co., Ltd., the combine being known as Worthington-Simpson, Ltd. In the whole of that period Mr. Smith occupied a seat on the Board.

During his career he had been responsible and associated with the Company in carrying out many notable pumping schemes, among which may be mentioned those of the Coolgardie Water Supply, Buenos Aires Water and Sewage Works, pumping plants for the water companies of London, and many installations in every country in the world with probably the exception of the United States and Canada. Most of the plants were in advance of what had been done before, his aim being to make each new installation an improvement on previous achievements.

His death took place at Kensington on 18th April 1924, at the age of seventy-five.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1881, and he was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.


1924 Obituary[2]

"The late Mr. Henry Smith.—We regret to have to record the death, which occurred on the 17th inst,, at: 37, Holland-street, Kensington, W. 8, of Mr. Henry Smith, who was for many years a director of James Simpson and Co., Limited, and Worthington-Simpson, Limited. Mr. Smith was born in February, 1849, and served an apprenticeship of seven years, from 1865 to 1872, at the works of Messrs. Pearce Bros., Lily Bank Foundry, Dundee, passing through the various shops and the drawing office. In March, 1872, he entered Messrs,. Simpson and Co.’s engine works, Grosvenor-Road, Pimlico, as draughtsman, where, for the first two years, he was engaged on marine work and then on several pumping plants until March, 1877, when he was appointed chief draughtsman. In the year 1885, Mr. Smith was appointed manager of the drawing and designing department of the company, and in 1886 went to the United States to examine and test at the Worthington Works the ' compensated Worthington engine which had just been patented by its inventor. In 1890 Mr. Smith was made a director of Messrs. Simpson and Co., and held a seat on the Board of Messrs. Worthington-Simpson, Limited, from the time of the amalgamation until his death. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and of other technical societies."


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