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British Industrial History

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William Black (1823-1905)

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William Black (1823-1905) of Black, Hawthorn and Co

1905 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM BLACK was born at Airdrie on 9th February 1823.

He commenced his commercial career with the Jarrow Alkali Co., in conjunction with Messrs. Cookson's Chemical Works, at South Shields.

Later on he was offered a partnership in the firm, but, owing to ill-health at the time, he was obliged to decline it.

His attention was then directed to the iron trade, and he started a foundry at Fatfield, near Washington, Co. Durham. Eventually he extended his business operations by taking over the North Eastern Foundry at South Shields, and under his management the works were greatly enlarged.

In conjunction with the late Mr. Hilton Philipson and others, he founded in 1865 the firm of Messrs. Black, Hawthorn and Co., of Gateshead, locomotive, marine, and stationary engine builders; and in 1869 he founded the St. Bede Chemical Works, East Jarrow, which have since been absorbed by the United Alkali Co.

He was also one of the promoters of the North Eastern Marine Engineering Works at Sunderland and Wallsend.

His death took place at his residence in Newcastle-on-Tyne, on 12th July 1905, in his eighty-third year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1879; and was a Member of several learned and technical societies, including the North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders, and the Institution of Mining Engineers.

Obituary 1905 [2]

. . . late of Black, Hawthorn and Co., died on Wednesday morning, in Newcastle, in his eighty-third year. Mr. Black founded the Black, Hawthorn and Co.'s engineering works, Gateshead, the North-eastern Foundry, South Shields, and St. Bede's Chemical Co - which was absorbed by the United Alkali Co some years ago . . .

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