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James Bell (1852-1898)

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James Bell (1852-1898)

1899 Obituary [1]

JAMES BELL, born in Edinburgh on the 3rd December, 1852, was a son of the late Mr. George Bell, a well-known jeweller of that city.

After leaving school he served an apprenticeship of five years, from 1868 to 1873, with George and William Bertram, engineers and millwrights, of St. Katherine’s Works, Edinburgh. During that period he attended certain of the technical classes at the University of Edinburgh.

In November, 1873, he became an apprentice with John and G. H. Geddes, mining engineers, also of Edinburgh, with whom he remained until 1880 as an assistant.

In July of the latter year he was engaged by Robert Addie and Sons, of the Langloan Ironworks, Coatbridge, to take charge of the engineering and surveying department of their extensive ironstone and coalpits.

He held that post until April, 1881, when it became necessary to send an engineer and manager to Spain to take charge of the mines, inclines and railways of the San Fermin Mining Company, of Bilbao, in which Messrs. Gddie were interested, and Mr. Bell was selected for the appointment. The mines had been newly acquired, and his first work was to connect them with the Galdames Railway, and to open and develop them. In addition to that work, which he carried out with energy and skill, he had to conduct frequent negotiations with the local and provincial zuthorities, and in these he displayed great ability and tact.

After the mines were opened up he had entire charge of the working of them until 1893, when the Company resolved to discontinue operations in Spain.

From June, 1893, Mr. Bell acted as Engineer to the Luhrig Coal and Ore Dressing Appliances, of Westminster, in charge of the design and erection of their plants and engineering work.

In July, 1898, he suffered a severe illness, which left his heart in a weak state, and on the 27th October following he succumbed from syncope.

Mr. Bell was elected an Associate Member on the 3rd December, 1895

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