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British Industrial History

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Samuel Osborn (1864-1952)

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Sir Samuel Osborn (1864-1952) of Samuel Osborn and Co

Son of Samuel Osborn; younger brother of William Fawcett Osborn

1952 Obituary [1]

WE record with deep regret the death of Sir Samuel Osborn, LL.D., which occurred at his home, "Heatherleigh," Grindleford, near Sheffield, on June l0th.

Sir Samuel, who was in his eighty-eighth year had had a lifelong association with the family firm of Samuel Osborn and Co., Ltd., Clyde Steel Works, Sheffield, and at the time of his death was president of the company, an office to which he was elected in 1948. The firm, it will be recalled, celebrated its centenary in April of this year. Unfortunately, on account of failing health, Sir Samuel was unable to attend the centenary banquet on April 25th, but arrangements were made for the speeches on that occasion to be relayed to his home, where, with Lady Osborn, he was able to "listen in."

Sir Samuel, who was the second son of the founder of the business, Samuel Osborn, sen., was born in Sheffield, on July 11, 1864. He was educated at New College, Eastbourne, and entered his father's works at the age of eighteen, beginning in the file making department.

A few years later he was put in charge of the new steel foundry, which had just been built, and in 1889 he became a partner in the business.

The business was reorganised as a limited liability company in 1905, when Sir Samuel was elected a director.

In 1936, following the death of his elder brother, Sir Samuel became chairman of the company, which position he occupied for the next twelve years.

Between 1947 and 1948 a scheme of reorganisation - involving the creation of some subsidiary companies to deal with the firm 's manufacturing processes - was successfully carried out, and Sir Samuel was then elected president of the parent company.

Thus, in the course of a long and full life, Sir Samuel Osborn made a valuable contribution to the development of the business founded by his father in 1852. From its modest beginning it has grown into an organisation which holds an important place in this country's tool steel and steel founding industries.

Sir Samuel's interests were many; in particular he paid close attention throughout his career to schemes for the welfare and training of his company's employees, and to projects for the development of cultural, social and religious activities in and around Sheffield. He was elected Lord Mayor of Sheffield in 1912. He was a past-president of the Sheffield Society of Engineers and Metallurgists, a past-president of the Sheffield and District Engineering Employers' Association, a founder member of the Industrial Welfare Society, and a Pro-Chancellor of Sheffield University, from which he received his LL.D. Sir Samuel's knighthood was conferred in 1941, during the period of his chairmanship of the Sheffield Juvenile Advisory Committee.

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