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British Industrial History

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John Paterson Smith

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John Paterson Smith ( -1878)


1879 Obituary [1]

JOHN PATERSON SMITH was born in the county of Caithness, and was educated at Glasgow University under Professors Thomson and Rankine.

He was the first engineer who received a certificate of proficiency in civil engineering from the Glasgow University. He then commenced business in Glasgow as a civil engineer, and also lectured upon applied mechanics in the Mechanics' Institute.

He was the Secretary of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland from 1864 to 1871; and also acted as Secretary to the Clyde Shipbuilders' and Engineers' Association.

For about four years he acted as factor to the Earl of Breadalbane, and designed the engineering and architectural works required on that nobleman's very extensive estates.

In 1872 he became manager of the Clutha Iron Works, Glasgow (Messrs P. and W. MacLellan), and subsequently entered upon a partnership with that firm. He invented a special form of tool-holder for tools used in cutting metals; and also the "adamantine" tool-steel, which requires no tempering, withstands friction and beat, and allows lathes to he driven at a greatly increased speed.

He further brought out a permanent way with steel sleeper chairs, which has been largely used in India; and was engaged shortly before his death in the further development of steel permanent way, which should be at once durable, cheap, and elastic.

At the Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow meetings of the British Association he acted as one of the secretaries to the mechanical section.

He was a justice of the peace for the county of Perth.

His death took place at Shian, Amulree, Perthshire, on 27th September 1878.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1877.


1878 Obituary [2]



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