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British Industrial History

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Russell Wheeler Davenport

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Russell Wheeler Davenport ( -1904)


1904 Obituary [1]

RUSSELL WHEELER DAVENPORT died at Philadelphia on March 2, 1904, after a brief illness, aged fifty-five. He was born at Albany, New York, and was educated partly in America and partly in Europe. He entered Yale in 1868, and the following year became assistant instructor in the chemical laboratory under Professor Oscar D. Allen.

In 1872 he spent a year at Berlin University, and the following year visited the iron and steel works of Germany, France, and England. In 1874 he became the chemist of the Midvale Steel Co. in Philadelphia, and ultimately manager of the works.

In 1884, under his management, the first successful steel forgings were manufactured at these works for the modern style of built-up cannon; and in 1888, when the Bethlehem Iron Co. began to operate their gun and armour-plate plant, he was placed in charge of this part of the works. He was recognised as a leading authority in the United States on these subjects. In January 1893 lie was appointed second Vice-President of the Bethlehem Iron Co. Harvard conferred upon him the honorary degree of Master of Arts as a recognition of his acquirements as a metallurgist, and his own university, Yale, paid him the same honour. In October 1901 he resigned his position at Bethlehem and returned to Philadelphia.

In June 1903 he became general manager of the William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Co. at Philadelphia, which position lie held at the time of his death. He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and of the American Institute of Mining Engineers.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1889.


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