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British Industrial History

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William Robertson (1833-1898)

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William Robertson (1833-1898)

1879 Joined I Mech E

1899 Obituary [1]

William Robertson was born at Newfaulds in the parish of Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, on 23rd February 1833, his father being a farmer. After being educated at the parish grammar school, he served an apprenticeship for five years 1852-57 in the Eglinton Engine Works of Messrs. A. and W. Smith in Glasgow; and then worked as a journeyman in 1858 and 1859 with Messrs. Caird and Co., engineers and shipbuilders, Greenock.

At the end of 1859 he went under an engagement to Soehia near Smyrna in Asia Minor, to erect sugar machinery.

In 1863 he went to Shanghai, China, and was engaged as chief engineer in steamers running on the coasts of China and Japan.

In 1867 he became a partner in the firm of Messrs. Boyd and Co., engineers and shipbuilders at Shanghai; and was principal in starting works for the firm in Nagasaki and Yokohama, Japan, on behalf of the Japanese government.

In 1892 he returned to England, and resided principally at Hampstead, London, where his death took place on 8th November 1898 in the sixty-sixth year of his age.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1879.

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