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William Scott Herriot

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William Scott Herriot (1860-1932)

1932 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM SCOTT HERRIOT played a leading part in the development of modern equipment for sugar plant. It was largely due to his efforts that the Sugar School at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, was established, and he also took an active part in the establishment of the model sugar factory at the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, St. Augustine, Trinidad.

He was a director of The Mirrlees Watson Company and of Messrs. Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day, and it was through his influence that the former firm gave the cane milling plant to the model sugar factory.

Mr. Herriot was born in 1860 and served his apprenticeship at the works of Messrs. George Forrester and Company of Liverpool, from 1873 to 1876.

He then worked for three years in the marine engineering shops of Messrs. J. and G. Thomson of Clydebank, and attended classes at the University of Glasgow.

After a further period of three years at the works of Messrs. John Elder and Company he returned to Messrs. Thomson's as chief draughtsman.

It was in 1883 that his connexion with the sugar industry commenced, for in that year he went to Demerara to take up the appointment of engineer in charge of a sugar factory belonging to Messrs. Sandbach, Parker and Company.

In 1888 he became consulting engineer for Messrs. McConnell and Company's sugar estates. During his stay of twelve years in Demerara Mr. Herriot designed and remodelled a number of sugar factories in which he introduced the then new method of milling and multiple-effect evaporation. He realized the close connexion between the chemical and mechanical aspects of sugar manufacture and made many journeys to obtain first-hand information in the cane-growing districts of the West Indies.

He returned to England in 1895 to become works manager for Messrs. George Fletcher and Company of Derby, and resigned five years later to become chief engineer for the Calico Printers' Association in Manchester. In the same year he was appointed general works manager of The Mirrlees Watson Company, Glasgow. He became a director of the firm in 1913.

Mr. Herriot had been a Member of the Institution since 1894, and took a prominent part in many organizations associated with sugar production in the Empire.

He died on 15th November 1932, in his seventy-second year.

1932 Obituary[2]


Mr. William Scott Herriot, whose death, we regret to have to record, took place at his home in Pollokshields, Glasgow, on November 15, had for many years been a director of Messrs. The Mirrlees Watson Company, Limited, Scotland-street, Glasgow, and was a recognised authority on sugar machinery and sugar production. He was born in Liverpool on January 11, 1860, and served an apprenticeship of 34 years, from 1873 to 1876, with Messrs. George Forrester and Company, Vauxhall Foundry, Liverpool. Removing to Glasgow in 1876, he served a further term of 34 years with Messrs. J. and G. Thomson, mechanical engineers and shipbuilders, Glasgow, meanwhile completing his technical education at the University in that City. After terminating his apprenticeship, he was engaged as draughtsman by Messrs. John Elder and Company, and afterwards was promoted to the position of leading draughtsman. In 1881, however, he returned to Messrs. J. and. G. Thomson as chief draughtsman in their Clydebank Foundry and became engaged on the design of propelling machinery for steamers for the Cunard, Peninsular and Oriental, and other steamship companies. In 1883, at the invitation of the proprietors of a group of sugar estates in Demerara, he went out to British Guiana and opened a practice as consulting and estates engineer. He remained at Demerara for 12 years, which period coincided with a highly important phase in the development of sugar manufacture. He was engaged on the design, construction and rearrangement of a number of extensive sugar factories, and performed the difficult task of replacing the old open evaporation plants by modern machinery. In addition to the mechanical aspect of sugar production, Mr. Scott Herriot became greatly interested in the whole question of sugar and its manufacture, and, in search of information, visited sugarcane growing districts throughout the West Indies, and in the United States, the Philippines, India, Malaya, and other parts of the world.

Mr. Scott Herriot returned to England in 1895 to take up the appointment of works manager in an engineering firm in Derby. His association with Messrs. The Mirrlees Watson Company, Limited, which was to extend over upwards of 30 years, began in 1900, when he was made manager; subsequently he became a director of the firm. His experience convinced him that, in order to carry on adequately modem practice in sugar factories, it was essential that a school should be established, at which young engineers could obtain a thorough training before proceeding abroad, and it was largely owing to his efforts that the Department of Sugar Manufacture of the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, was established. Many sugar engineers in all parts of the world have been trained in the Department ; Mr. Scott Herriot took a keen interest in the students and was always ready to assist them. He was a member of the Committee on Chemistry and Metallurgy of the Royal Technical College. Mr. Scott Herriot became an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on December 1, 1891, was elected a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1894, and was for many years a member of the Society of Chemical Industry. He was chairman of the British Empire Sugar Machinery Manufacturers’ Association, a member of the Councils of the British Empire Producers’ Organisation and of the Sugar Federation of the British Empire, a Governor of the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, Trinidad, and a member of the Council of the Glasgow West India Committee."

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