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British Industrial History

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James Black

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James Black (1871-1943)


1944 Obituary [1]

JAMES BLACK was born in 1871 and received his technical education at the Technical College, Glasgow. After serving his apprenticeship with Messrs. James Howden and Company from 1888 to 1891, and with Messrs. William King and Company of the same city from 1891 to 1892, he gained further experience as an improver fitter with Messrs. Laird Brothers of Birkenhead for a brief period. He then went to sea as a marine engineer and sailed for the next ten years in ships of the City Line of Glasgow, obtaining his first-class Board of Trade Certificate.

In 1903 he became draughtsman to Messrs. D. Stewart and Company and later was made the firm's resident engineer at Messrs. William Beardmore's gas power station, Dalmuir. Three years later he went to Johannesburg and acted in a similar capacity for the same firm in connection with the latter's erection of the municipal gas power station. His next position, which he held from 1908 to 1910, was that of chief outside foreman erector to the British Westinghouse Company at Manchester, subsequently becoming chief draughtsman and general foreman in that firm's engine department.

In 1914 he accepted an appointment as engineer and manager to the Hastings Jute Mill, Calcutta, and formed a connection with that firm which lasted for 21 years. After his return to Great Britain he was employed in the armour plate works of Messrs. William Beardmore and Company and subsequently received his final appointment as progress engineer. Mr. Black, whose death occurred on 8th August 1943, had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1912.


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