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John Wilbur Tierney

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John Wilbur Tierney (1869-1951), founder of the Globe Pneumatic Engineering Co

1869 Born In America


1951 Obituary [1]

WE record with regret the death of Mr. John Wilbur Tierney, which occurred at his home at Eastbourne on April 5th. He will be remembered as a pioneer of the pneumatic tool industry in this country, having founded the Globe Pneumatic Engineering Company, Ltd., in 1904.

Mr. Tierney was born in America on May 24, 1869, and received his general education at a private school in New York. He then spent four years studying engineering at Spring Garden Institute, Philadelphia, and at Cornell University. At the age of nineteen Tierney joined the staff of the Barr Pump Engine Company, Philadelphia, as a draughtsman. He remained with that company for ten years, becoming chief draughtsman and designer, and taking charge of the erection of large waterworks pumping plant. His next appointment was with the Philadelphia Pneumatic Tool Company, of which he was president from 1900 to 1903.

In the following year Mr. Tierney came to 'England and formed the Globe Pneumatic Engineering Company, Ltd. He was responsible, during t he years which followed, for designing and patenting a large number of pneumatic tools for which use was found in an increasing number of industries. In Mr. Tierney's early days in this country the production of his pneumatic riveting and chipping hammers was entrusted to the gun department of the Elswick works of Armstrong Whitworth and Co., Ltd. Shipbuilding was one of the first industries in this country to take up Tierney's equipment, and, soon after its formation, his company was supplying air compressors, pneumatic riveting and chipping hammers, drilling machines and kindred tools to the shipyards. Mr. Tierney's subsequent journeys abroad resulted in the equipment with pneumatic tools of naval yards in Russia, Japan and Italy, as well as railway workshops in many parts of the world.

Tierney was a skilled engineer and an enthusiastic designer. He spent the greater part of his long working life in assisting the development of the company which he started in this country forty-seven years ago, and although in recent months he had reduced some of his activity, he continued as chairman and managing director up till the time of his death. Mr. Tierney was elected to membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1943 at the age of seventy-three.


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