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British Industrial History

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James Metcalfe

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James Metcalfe (1847-1920) of Davies and Metcalfe

1920 Obituary [1]

JAMES METCALFE was born at Oswestry on 25th September 1847, and was educated privately.

He served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Sharp, Stewart and Co., Ltd., locomotive builders, Manchester, from 1862 to 1867, and afterwards took charge of the locomotives of the Manchester and Milford Railway, which now forms part of the Great Western system.

In the early "seventies" he began experimenting with exhaust-steam injectors, and in 1876, after extensive experimental work, he, along with Edward Davies, was successful in producing an injector to work with exhaust steam. In connexion with this improvement they invented the well known flap-nozzle for injectors, and the application of this improvement to live-steam injectors made them for the first time absolutely automatic, restarting, and reliable in action. The flap- nozzle has been most extensively used and hundreds of thousands have been manufactured, both at home and abroad.

To manufacture this injector a firm, Davies and Metcalfe, Ltd., formerly the Patent Exhaust Steam Injector Co., was founded at Romiley, near Manchester, and he was managing director.

The whole of his life thereafter was devoted to the manufacture of injectors and to experimental work, in which he was occupied until a few weeks before his death, which took place on 12th April 1920 near Oswestry, in his seventy-third year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1906.

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