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British Industrial History

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Alexander Jack (1863-1935)

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Alexander Jack (1863-1935)

1935 Obituary [1]

ALEXANDER JACK had a long experience of crane design and manufacture, and was one of the very first designers of electric overhead travelling cranes.

He was born at Johnstone, Renfrewshire, in 1863, and received his technical education at Ayr Academy and Anderson's College, Glasgow.

He served as an apprentice for two years with Messrs. J. and A. Taylor, of Ayr, and for three years with Messrs. Robert Harvey and Company, of Glasgow.

He joined Messrs. George Russell and Company, of Motherwell, as a draughtsman in 1885, but left in 1887 and was employed in a similar capacity until 1890 by various firms.

He then went into partnership as one of the founders of Messrs. Marshall, Fleming and Jack, of Motherwell; the firm specialized in locomotive steam cranes and overhead electric travellers. Mr. Jack supervised the designs of the whole of the firm's products.

Shortly before the War he went into business on his own account, and under the style of Alexander Jack and Company, Ltd., he established the large Whitegates Engineering Works at Wishaw; the firm's products covered all types of cranes. Mr. Jack owned a number of patents in connexion with crane design, the last of which related to plate-handling cranes. Unfortunately, owing to prolonged industrial depression these works were compelled to close in 1924, and until 1928 Mr. Jack acted as consulting engineer for various undertakings.

He then joined the staff of the Clyde Crane and Engineering Company, Ltd., at Mossend, and worked for the firm until ten days before his death, which occurred on 13th March 1935.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1907, and was one of the foundation members of the West of Scotland Iron and Steel Institute, of which he was vice-president from 1923 to 1925.

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