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Thomas Smith (1837-1909)

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Thomas Smith (1837-1909) of Thomas Smith and Sons.

1837 December 2nd. Born the son of David Smith and his wife Mary Ann Greenwood

1881 Living at The Rookery, Bramley: Thomas Smith (age 43 born Calverley), Engineer and Iron Founder employing 70 men and 20 boys. With his wife Mary H. Smith (age 40 born Hunsingore) and their children Sarah E. Smith (age 14 born Rodley), Clara Smith (age 12 born Bramley), Priscilla Kate Smith (age 10 born Bramley), Frederick H. Smith (age 6 born Bramley), and Walter Tom Smith (age 4 born Bramley). One servant.[1]

1883 July. Birth of son David John Victor Smith. Died February 1886.

1901 Living at 166 Broad Lane, Bramley: Thomas Smith (age 63 born Calverley), Engineer mechanical and Employer. With his wife Mary H. Smith (age 60 born Hunsingore) and their children Clara Smith (age 32 born Rodley); Pricilla K. Smith (age 30 born Rodley); Frederick H. Smith (age 26 born Rodley), Mechanical Engineer; and George E Smith (age 19 born Rodley), Mechanical Engineer. One servant.[2]

1909 June 1st. Thomas Smith died[3]


1909 Obituary [4]

THOMAS SMITH was born at Rodley, Leeds, on 2nd December 1837, and was educated at a private school.

Having served his apprenticeship in a small crane-making business at Rodley, in which his father was a partner, at the age of twenty-one he inherited a share in the business and in 1860 took the same over.

From that date by his energy and abilities it grew very rapidly, the works being enlarged and new plant added so as to meet the then growing demand for steam-cranes of which he was the pioneer in that district.

Later, further extensions were made, the works now covering about 12 acres.

A special plant was laid down to deal with the construction of electric cranes of all types, which, along with the steam-cranes, have made a world-wide reputation for the firm, and most of the iron, steel and engineering works, docks and harbours, and public works contracts of any reasonable magnitude have his cranes at work.

He took a great interest in electric driving, and had no hesitation in adopting the latest and most modern designs.

In 1903 he took his three sons into partnership, who before that date had actively assisted him in the management.

His death took place at his residence at Bramley, Leeds, on 1st June 1909, at the age of seventy-one.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1885; he was also a Member of the North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders.


Obituary 1909 [5]

. . . of the firm of Thomas Smith and Sons, of the Old Foundry, Rodley, near Leeds. Mr. Smith was born in Rodley on 2nd of December, 1837, and was educated at a private school.

Having served his apprenticeship in a small crane-making business at Rodley, in which his father was a partner, at the age of twenty-one he inherited a share in the business, which he eventually took over in 1860. From that date, by his energy and abilities, it grew very rapidly, the works being enlarged and new plant added so as to meet the then growing demand for steam cranes, of which Mr. Smith was the pioneer in that district. He was a worker in the true sense of the word, well esteemed by his workmen and all who came in contact with him for his sterling character, integrity, and long and honourable business career.

Mr. Smith was member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, of the North-East Coast Engineers' and Shipbuilders' Institution, and an honorary member of the Leeds Engineers' and Draughtsmen's Association. In the year 1903 he took his three sons into partnership, who before that date had actively assisted him in the management, and by whom the business is now being carried on.


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