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British Industrial History

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Joseph David Smith

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Joseph David Smith (1876-1934)

1934 Obituary [1]

JOSEPH DAVID SMITH devoted the whole of his engineering career to machine shop organization and the design and construction of machine tools.

He was born at Erith, Kent, in 1876 and received his technical education at Woolwich Polytechnic.

In 1893 he entered the Erith works of Messrs. Easton, Anderson and Goolden as an apprentice and served for four years in the shops and drawing office.

He then joined Messrs. J. Buckton and Company of Leeds, where he became a foreman in 1902, and two years later he entered the textile and general works of Messrs. Robertson and Orchar, Dundee, in a similar capacity, and subsequently introduced the piece-work system into the works.

In 1905 he became head foreman in the machine shop of the Hunslet Engine Company, Leeds, where he also introduced the piece-work system. He remained with the firm for seven years, and after a brief period as assistant works manager to the Sunderland Forge Company, he was appointed works manager to Messrs. E. Bennis and Company, Bolton, and was again responsible for the introduction of piece-work.

Shortly after the outbreak of the War he joined Messrs. Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Company and was appointed manager of the premium bonus department in the steel works and gun department at Elswick. In this capacity he was also responsible for the branch works at York and took over the organization of the shops for economic production.

In 1918 he entered the commercial side of the firm and became engineer representative for the North East Coast and Yorkshire, and manager of the district office in Newcastle. He was appointed manager of the disposals department at Openshaw in 1920, and organized the sale of surplus war material.

Two years later he became engineering representative to a number of firms manufacturing machine tools, and was so engaged until 1929 when he joined Messrs. T. Summerson, engineers and steel founders, of Darlington, as shops manager, and held this position until his death, which occurred at North Cowton, near Northallerton, on 23rd June 1934.

Mr. Smith was for many years a very frequent contributor of articles on machine tools and machine shop organization to various technical journals.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1914, and was transferred to Membership in 1917.

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