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British Industrial History

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John William Earle

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John William Earle (c1866-1924), chairman and managing director of Earle, Bourne and Co

1924 Obituary [1]

JOHN WILLIAM EARLE, chairman and managing director of Earle, Bourne & Company, Limited, Birmingham (Rolled Brass and Copper, Brass and Copper Tubes, &c.), died suddenly (following an operation) on November 4, 1924; aged fifty-seven.

The late Mr. Earle's business life commenced early, he entering the mills established in 1874 by his father and his father's partner, at the age of fourteen. He once told the present writer that there was scarcely a job upon the ground but what he had worked at it with his own hands. To the practical experience of these early years he added commercial gifts of a high order: business insight and imagination; organizing abilities; the power to win the love of men and inspire their loyalty; the charm which turns business relations into personal friendship. The result was a great business and a fine personality. He had travelled, and knew his trade as it is in continental countries and in the United States.

He was an Original Member of the Institute of Metals and so far as is known to the writer, the 1924 London Autumn Meeting was the first Autumn Meeting from which he was absent. That was due to the ill-health which foreshadowed his decease. His interest in science was very genuine, and at one period he attended classes at Mason College, under Professor Turner. He had whimsical ways of putting an abstruse or difficult conclusion into soiree simple image; he was alive to all the technical improvement to which science pointed.

He was an Original Member of the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association and gave unstinting service upon its Council and committees. He was a Vice-President of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. In other commercial and technical organizations he was always a leader. He recognized the solidarity of business interests and knew that if one would flourish oneself others must and that, therefore, the true line of development must always be by co-operation. His colleagues in the brass and copper trades will remember him as a loyal friend, wise counsellor and a genial and hopeful comrade in their business life.— G. W. M.

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