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British Industrial History

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Alexander Purdie

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Alexander Purdie (1888-1944)

1945 Obituary [1]

ALEXANDER PURDIE was well known in engineering circles on the North East Coast, where he had for over twenty years held the important post of chief mechanical engineer to the Furness Shipbuilding Company, Ltd., of Middlesbrough.

He was born in 1888 and after completing a five years' apprenticeship with Messrs. Marshall Fleming and Company, Ltd., of Motherwell, in 1909, studied for four years at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, and during his college vacations gained further experience in the drawing offices of Messrs. Marshall Fleming and Messrs. Babcock and Wilcox, of Renfrew.

He then joined Messrs. Palmers Shipbuilding Company of Jarrow, as a draughtsman and a year later was made designer and estimator. In 1918 he began his long association with the Furness Shipbuilding Company, during which he was responsible not only for the inauguration of the yard at Haverton Hill, which he laid down to his own design, in addition to purchasing and controlling the erection of the equipment, but throughout his tenure of office was personally in control of all engineering projects in connection with the yard. Early in 1943 he was appointed to the position of engineer manager, with control of the electrical engineering side of the firm's work in addition.

Mr. Purdie, whose death occurred on 12th March 1944 in his fifty-sixth year, was elected a Member of the Institution in 1924.

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