Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Thomas Rowatt

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Thomas Rowatt (1880-1950)


1950 Obituary [1]



1951 Obituary [2]

"THOMAS ROWATT, O.B.E., M.M., whose death occurred on 7th April 1950 at the age of seventy, was formerly the Director of the Royal Scottish Museum and will be remembered for his successful efforts to extend the scope and usefulness of that Institution.

He received his early education at the Ewart High School, Newton Stewart and, for a time, was a student at the Wohler Schule at Frankfurt-on-Main. After matriculating at the University of London, he began a six years' apprenticeship with Messrs. Carrick and Ritchie, Edinburgh, hydraulic engineers, and concurrently attended classes at the Heriot Watt College, where he gained the College diploma in engineering, the Homer Prize, and other distinctions. On the completion of his practical training in 1902 he obtained first place in a Civil Service examination for the post of assistant in the Technological Department of the Royal Scottish Museum, where, apart from war service, he spent the rest of his active career.

In 1909 he was promoted to assistant keeper, and, in that capacity, was responsible for the design of a new range of workshops. He also made a close study of the iron and steel industries in Sheffield, the West of Scotland, and Sweden.

In September 1914 Mr. Rowatt joined the Royal Naval Division (Engineers) and saw service at Antwerp and Gallipoli, and subsequently in France, being awarded the Military Medal. On demobilization he returned to the Museum, and in 1920 became keeper of the technological department, a post he retained until 1934 when he was appointed Director. During his tenure of that office he strove to widen the appeal of the Museum by extending the scope of the collections, enhancing their educational value, and arranging exhibitions, courses of lectures and classes on special subjects. He retired in 1945 after forty-two years' service in the Museum, the last ten of which were spent as Director. Mr. Rowatt had been a Member of the Institution since 1922. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. For his services he was awarded the O.B.E. in 1939. "


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