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British Industrial History

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Michael Patterson

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Michael Patterson (1830-1885)

1886 Obituary [1]

MICHAEL PATTERSON, born on the 22nd of March, 1830, was the elder son of Mr. Thomas Patterson, who for about forty years occupied the position of Engineer at the Shotley Grove Paper-Mills of Annandale and Son, where Michael Patterson served his apprenticeship as fitter and millwright.

During this time he occupied every spare moment in study. He visited the Great Exhibition of 1851 with his father, and while there succeeded in getting employment with the late Mr. Marshall, of Dandy-Roll fame. Mr. Patterson’s energy and perseverance were so much appreciated that he was entrusted with the erection of a large drying-machine for Messrs. Allen and Sons, Ivybridge. This step led to his being appointed, at the age of twenty-three, Engineer of the celebrated Ivybridge Mills, which subsequently, under his direction and skill, became one of the finest mills in the British paper-trade. Messrs. Allen and Sons permitted Mr. Patterson to act as consulting engineer on his own behalf. They, moreover, appointed him Engineer for the Old Delabole Slate Quarries, and during his residence in the West he was largely consulted on engineering matters of importance.

From Ivybridge Mr. Patterson went, in 1874, to Edinburgh, having accepted an engagement as Manager of the St. Katharine’s Engineering Works of George and William Bertram. He there became very closely associated with the late George Bertram, and his great reliability, urbanity and genial manners made for him a large circle of friends throughout the paper-trade.

In 1884 Messrs. Bertram resolved to found the new St. Katharine’s Works, Bow, London; and the management was undertaken solely by Mr. Patterson. At the time of his decease he was there vested with complete authority as Manager, quite independent of the control of the Edinburgh firm.

Mr. Patterson died in London on the 16th of December, 1885, in his fifty-sixth year. His remains were removed for interment to Edinburgh, where nearly two hundred members of the paper-trade testified their respect by being present at the funeral. He was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 4th of December, 1866.

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