Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William John Adams

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William John Adams (1853-1935), of Everitt, Adams and Co, 35 Queen Victoria Street, London, N.C.

1935 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM JOHN ADAMS founded the Australasian firm of Messrs. William Adams and Company, Ltd., of which he was chairman of directors.

He was born in 1853 in the neighbourhood of the West India Docks where his grandfather, John Samuel Adams, was engineer, and he was a cousin of the late Professor Henry Adams. Mr. Adams was the son of William Adams, M.I.Mech.E., who was locomotive superintendent to the North London, Great Eastern, and London and South Western Railways successively.

He became a pupil of his father at the locomotive works of the North London Railway at Bow and after five years' training he joined Messrs. Tannett, Walker and Company, of Leeds, as a draughtsman. A year later, in 1877, he was made erecting engineer, and superintended the installation of hydraulic machinery.

In 1879 he entered into partnership with his friend Mr. Everitt and founded the firm of Everitt, Adams and Company, Ryburgh Works, Norfolk, inventors of the penny-in-the-slot machine.

After dissolving the partnership in 1880, Mr. Adams became manager of the Vacuum Brake Company, Ltd.

He left for Australia four years later, with agencies for several British engineering firms, and on his arrival there he established the firm with which he was associated for the remainder of his life.

He had been a Member of the Institution for fifty-four years, having been elected in 1881.

His death occurred in Hampstead on 12th June 1935.

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