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British Industrial History

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William Edward Hipkins

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William Edward Hipkins (1858-1912) of W. and T. Avery

Son of G. F. Hipkins

1912 Died on RMS Titanic

1912 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM EDWARD HIPKINS was born in 1858.

He was first educated at the Birmingham Grammar School, and then from 1872 to 1875 by private tutors while travelling in the United States and on the Continent.

In the latter year he commenced an apprenticeship in the works of his father, who was a machinist and engineers' tool-maker in Birmingham.

On its completion in 1880 he went into the drawing office for three years, and in 1883 became assistant manager. Three years later he was appointed manager, which position he held until 1889.

During the next five years he was manager for Messrs. J. and E. Wright, steel-rope manufacturers and cableway engineers, Birmingham.

In 1895 he became manager of the Soho Foundry, Birmingham, of the firm of James Watt and Co., formerly Boulton and Watt, and he was also managing director of Messrs. W. and T. Avery, weighing machinists and engineers.

He was travelling to America on the S.S. "Titanic," and was one of the numerous ill-fated passengers who perished on its foundering on 15th April 1912. He was fifty-four years of age.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1898.

1912 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM EDWARD HIPKINS was drowned in the Titanic disaster on April 15, 1912. He was the only son of Mr. G. F. Hipkins, steel toy manufacturer, of Birmingham, and was born about sixty years ago.

His early experience was gained in travelling abroad. On his return he undertook the management of his father's business, but subsequently disposed of the concern to become managing-director of J. & E. Wright, rope manufacturers, and in 1896 he undertook a similar position in the firm of W. & T. Avery. Here he was responsible for the entire re-organisation of the business of the firm, and particularly for the arrangements connected with its removal from West Bromwich to the famous Soho Foundry.

He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1895.

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