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Joseph William Reed

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Joseph William Reed (1859-1932), engineering manager of William Doxford and Sons

Fawcett, Preston and Co

Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Co


1932 Obituary[1]

"THE LATE MR. J. W. REED.

We regret to have to record the death of Mr. Joseph William Reed, which took place at his home at South Boldon, County Durham, on March 9. Mr. Reed, who was for many years general manager of the engineering department of Messrs. Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company, Limited, was born in Northumberland in 1859. In 1874, at the age of 15, he entered upon a five years’ apprenticeship at the Jarrow-on-Tyne works of Messrs. Palmers, and after completing his time, was appointed draughtsman. In 1883, when only 24 years of age, he became chief draughtsman at the Jarrow works, and continued to occupy this position for five years, only relinquishing it to become manager of Messrs. Fawcett, Preston and Company, Limited, Liverpool. In October, 1889, however, he returned to Messrs. Palmers as manager of the engine works department at Jarrow, and continued in this capacity until his retirement just prior to the war. He was responsible for the design and construction of all the engineering work carried out by his firm, and reorganised and practically rebuilt the engine works in order to make them thoroughly modern. He designed and patented the Reed Express water-tube boilers, of which about 170 were afterwards fitted in destroyers, gunboats, and cruisers of the British Navy. He was also the designer of a system of forced lubrication for torpedo-boat destroyer engines.

During the war, although he had previously retired, Mr. Reed accepted an appointment as engineering manager of Messrs. William Doxford and Sons, Limited, Sunderland. In this position he was responsible for organising the department for war work and for turning out the machinery for a large number of destroyers and other war vessels. Mr. Reed became a member of the North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in November, 1884, and served for some years on the Council. He was elected a member of the Institution of Naval Architects in 1893, and of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1894. He also became an original member of the Institute of Metals when that body was formed in 1908, and was for several years an engineering member of Lloyd’s Register Technical Committee."


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