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British Industrial History

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James Page Symes

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James Page Symes (1842-1895) of Edwards and Symes

1895 Obituary [1]

JAMES PAGE SYMES, born on the 22nd of October, 1842, commenced his engineering career as a pupil of the late Mr. Edward Hayes of Stony Stratford, Bucks.

After the expiration of his pupilage he spent two years in the running-sheds of the London and North Western Railway Company at Wolverton, and was then, from 1863 to 1865, an assistant to James Simpson and Co, of the Grosvenor Works, Pimlico, for whom he was engaged on extensions of the Lambeth Waterworks at Thames Ditton and at Brixton Hill, and also on the Folkestone and the Bristol Waterworks.

Mr. Symes was next, from 1865 to 1871, chief assistant to Richard Moreland and Son of Old Street, St. Luke’s, for whom he was occupied on the extension of the Eastbourne Waterworks, on reclamation works in Essex, on the fire-proof construction of the Midland Hotel at St. Pancras, and on the design and construction of hydraulic machinery for the Chatham Dockyard Extension. He was then for two years manager to H. J. H. King and Co of Glasgow.

In 1873 Mr. Symes entered into partnership with N. P. Edwards, under the style of Edwards and Symes, at Millwall, as engineers and shipbuilders. The venture proved successful, the firm during the following twenty years turning out upwards of three hundred vessels of all descriptions, two-thirds of which had machinery fitted into them. His career, however, was prematurely cut short. While on an official trial trip he took cold, which developed into pleurisy and pneumonia, and after an illness of only seven days he expired on the 25th of January, 1895, in the fifty-third year of his age.

Mr. Symes was an able engineer and a man of good business capacity, straightforward and upright in all his dealings.

He was elected an Associate on the 29th of May, 1877, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 6th of May, 1879.

Not long before his death he took part in the discussion upon Mr. Durston’s Paper on 'The Machinery of War-Ships.'

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