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British Industrial History

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James Kerr

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James Kerr (1851-1884) of Kerr, Stuart and Co

1851 14 April: James Kerr was born in Barony, Lanark, son of John Kerr and his wife Margaret Bruce (nee Dick).[1] This would mean he was the elder brother of John Kerr

After leaving university worked for Snell, Stuart and Co, rolling stock contractors, designing rolling stock.

c.1873 Spent ten years working on his own account as contractor and designer of rolling stock - was this James Kerr and Co?

c.1883 Became managing and senior partner of Kerr, Stuart and Co of London and Glasgow, manufacturers of portable and narrow gauge railway.

1884 Proposed for membership of I Mech E



1885 Obituary [2]

JAMES KERR was born in Glasgow on 14th April 1851.

After leaving the university, where he had studied in arts, he was for about three years with Messrs. Kerr, Stuart and Co., (sic) Glasgow, rolling-stock contractors, and had the designing and inspecting of the rolling stock supplied by them.

Subsequently for ten years he carried on business on his own account as a contractor and designer of rolling stock, and latterly was managing and senior partner in the firm of Messrs. Kerr Stuart and Co., London and Glasgow, manufacturers of portable and narrow-gauge railway plant.

He invented several improvements in connection with that class of railway plant, and himself designed and completed seventy miles of light-railway permanent way with rolling stock for the Prince of Morvi.

He died on 4th December 1884, at the early age of thirty-three.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1884.


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Sources of Information

  • Mechanical engineer records