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John William Hartley

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John William Hartley (c1846-1942)


1943 Obituary [1]

JOHN WILLIAM HARTLEY. whose death occurred on 11th May 1942 at the great age of 96, was a versatile engineer and inventor, with a varied experience in the course of his professional career, which extended over more than seventy years. Of his patents no less than eighty were accepted and completed.

He was born at Wentworth, Yorks, and served his apprenticeship partly in the office of his father, then borough surveyor of Rotherham and partly (from 1862 to 1867) with Messrs. Dodds and So at the Holmes Engine Works in the same town. From 1870 to 1874 he was in charge of the drawing office and locomotive building department of the North Staffordshire Railway, and was responsible for the design and construction of new types of locomotives.

He then founded the general engineering business of Messrs. Hartley and Arnoux Brothers, California Works, Stoke-on-Trent, and in its sixteen years' existence the firm made nearly all the bridges and railway chairs required for the North Staffordshire Railway. During this period he built to his own design a two-lift gasholder and was the inventor of a condensed water cooler, besides effecting several improvements in potters' machinery.

In 1890 he was appointed manager of Messrs. Dick Kerr and Company's Britannia Engineering Works, Kilmarnock. Five years later he became works manager for Messrs. Kerr, Stuart and Company, Stoke-on-Trent, with whom he remained until 1910, when he again went into business on his own account as a general engineer.

Although over seventy years of age, in 1916 Mr. Hartley commenced the building of a new engineering works at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, the business being subsequently carried on by his three sons under the style of Messrs. Hartleys (Stoke-on-Trent), Ltd., specializing in the manufacture of machinery for the purification of sewage. For some years Mr. Hartley acted as consulting engineer to the British Federation of Pottery Manufacturers.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1931.


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