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British Industrial History

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Thomas Kennedy

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Thomas Kennedy (1838-1917) of Glenfield and Kennedy

of Kilmarnock

1856 Described an improved design of water meter to the Inst Mech Engineers

Formed a company to exploit his invention of a new water meter which became Kennedys Patent Water Meter Co

Manager of Glenfield Works.

1917 Obituary [1]

THOMAS KENNEDY was born at Mau on 29th March 1838.

He received his early education in Oban, and, after leaving school, went to Greenock, where he served an apprenticeship in a marine engineering works.

On its termination he went to Woolwich Arsenal for about two years, and then spent four or five years at sea, latterly being chief engineer on one of the vessels which laid the submarine cables in the Atlantic and Baltic.

In 1867 he entered the employment of the firm which is now known as Glenfield and Kennedy, Ltd., Kilmarnock.

At that time and until 1900 it was two separate concerns, namely, The Glenfield Co., Ltd., and Kennedy's Patent Water Meter Co., Ltd.

In 1889 he was appointed Managing Director, and continued to hold that position until his retirement from active service in 1913. During the long period of forty-six years during which Mr. Kennedy was associated with the Glenfield Co., and latterly Glenfield and Kennedy, Ltd., the firm carried out many large and important contracts for the supply of waterworks, sewerage, pumping, and hydraulic plants to municipalities, Harbour Boards, etc., both in this country and abroad; and during his connexion with Glenfield and Kennedy, Ltd., the firm rose from a very small business with about fifty employees to a large concern employing, in normal times, over 1,800 men. Mr. Kennedy displayed great technical ability and organizing skill, and he was constantly improving the various specialities for which the firm is noted.

His death took place at Kilmarnock on 20th April 1917, at the age of seventy-nine.

He was elected a Member of this Institution in 1892.

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