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British Industrial History

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Thomas Stuart Kennedy

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Thomas Stuart Kennedy (1841-1894) of Fairbairn, Kennedy and Naylor

1894 Obituary [1]

TH031AS STUART KENNEDY was born in 1844 at Feldkirch in the Tyrol, where his father had cotton being one of the first Englishmen who availed themselves of cheap foreign labour and water power.

In 1861 he entered as an apprentice the Wellington Foundry of his uncle, the late Sir Peter Fairbairn at Leeds; and on his uncle's death soon afterwards he joined his cousin Sir Andrew Fairbairn and Mr. Naylor in the firm of Fairbairn, Kennedy, and Naylor, by whom the works were thenceforth carried on.

On his father's death a few years later he retired from the firm, while yet a young man, and devoted much of his time to outdoor pursuits and field sports, retaining however his interest in mechanics. Being a good mathematician, he strove to introduce the higher mathematics into workshops and drawing office, whereby great economy was effected. He was an excellent worker in metals, and invented several chucks of much utility. Among his many devices was a simple method of taking up wear in the boss of a spherical lathe-rest; and he materially assisted in improving the design of an ornamental lathe.

His death which was due to cardiac disease took place at his residence at Wetherby on 17th November 1894, at the age of fifty.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1868.

1895 Obituary [2]

THOMAS STUART KENNEDY, son of the late Mr. Peter Kennedy, who for many years resided at Zurich, was born on the 26th of April, 1841.

After studying at Geneva and at Hanover, he served an apprenticeship at the Wellington Foundry, Leeds, becoming in 1863 a partner in the firm, which was then known under the style of Fairbairn, Kennedy and Naylor. For twenty years Mr. Kennedy had charge of the department devoted to the construction of engineering tools generally and of travelling-cranes.

Mr. Kennedy retired from the firm at the end of 1882, still keeping in touch, however, with the engineering world through the various experiments he carried out in a small private workshop, in which he worked constantly when not abroad. He was a keen sportsman and enjoyed out-door exercise of all kinds. As a young man he was the fist to ascend, in 1862, in company with Mr. Wigram and two guides, the Dent Blanche, one of the most difficult Alpine peaks. He also made an attempt to ascend the Matterhorn in the winter of 1862, in the idea that it might prove less impracticable in January than in summer. He was a member of the Alpine and Hurlingham Clubs and of the Bramham Moor and the York and Ainsty Hunts.

Mr. Kennedy died on the 17th of November, 1894, the cause being an affection of the heart from which he had suffered for some time. He was elected a Member on the 3rd of April, 1894.

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