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British Industrial History

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James Clifton Robinson

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Sir James Clifton Robinson (1848-1910) of the London United Tramways Co


1911 Obituary [1]

SIR JAMES CLIFTON ROBINSON died suddenly in New York from heart disease on the 6th November, 1910.

Born at Birkenhead on the 1st January, 1848, he obtained employment at a very early age under the late Mr. G. F. Train, a pioneer of tramways in this country, whom he assisted on tramway construction in Staffordshire and America.

After representing Messrs. Fisher and Parrish on tramway contracts in Liverpool, London and Dublin, he was manager successively of the Cork tramways, under Mr. T. O'Keefe, the Bristol tramways, under the late Mr. Joseph Kincaid, the Edinburgh tramways, and for the Cable Tramways Corporation.

He next spent several years in America, where he took a prominent part in tramway development, and on returning to this country he became Managing Director of the Imperial Tramways Company. He was consulted in regard to the electrification of tramway systems in all parts of the country, but the work by which probably he was best known was the conversion of the West London tramways to electric traction, as Managing Director and Engineer of the London United Tramways, Ltd.

He next turned his attention to the development of "tube" railways in London, and to means of facilitating interchange of traffic between them and the tramways.

He retired from the control of the London United system early in 1910, and afterwards visited the Philippines with a view to tramway development there.

He was knighted in 1905, and was a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex.

In 1874 he married Mary Edith, daughter of Mr. Richard Martin, of Blackrock, Co. Cork.

Sir Clifton Robinson was elected an Associate of The Institution on the 11th April, 1893.


1911 Obituary [2]

SIR JAMES CLIFTON ROBINSON died at New York on November 5, 1910.

He was born at Birkenhead on January 1, 1848.

He was tramway manager at Cork, at Bristol (1875-1882), and at Edinburgh (1882-1884). He travelled over the greater part of the world in connection with the construction, of cable tramways.

In 1892 he advised the electrification of the Bristol tramways, and carried out this, and many other similar schemes. His best-known work was the conversion to electric working of the West. London Tramways, under the name of the London United Tramways.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1894, and was transferred to full membership in 1908.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1911 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
  2. 1911 Institution of Electrical Engineers: Obituaries