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British Industrial History

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Alfred Tom Coates

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Alfred Tom Coates (1871-1924) of Whessoe Foundry and Engineering Co

1924 Obituary [1]

ALFRED T. COATES was born on 31st May 1871, and was educated at Woodhouse Grove School, Apperley Bridge, Yorkshire.

Upon entry into business life, he served his time under his father, the late Mr. Thomas Coates, at the works of Messrs. R. Dempster and Sons, gas and general engineers, Elland, during the years 1887 to 1891.

The next five years he spent as draughtsman in the works of the Whessoe Foundry Company, Ltd., Darlington, of which business his father was then managing director, and in 1895-6 he was placed in charge of the erection of new gas-works at Montreal, Canada.

In 1896 he was appointed to be chief draughtsman, and in the years following had charge of important engineering contracts in Denmark and in this country.

In 1902 he visited various South American ports and St. Vincent in the Cape Verde Islands in connexion with the construction of liquid fuel installations, and in the following year he was made works manager. The great expansion of the oil industry in its liquid fuel and other branches provided scope for a great amount of tank construction in various parts of the world, and ill this work Mr. Coates's technical skill and experience enabled him successfully to cope with important work both at home and abroad.

Upon the death of Mr. Coates, sen., in 1913, the subject of this memoir was appointed to take his father's place as managing director, and this position beheld at the inception in 1920 of the new company — the Whessoe Foundry and Engineering Co., Ltd. — and retained up to the time of his death, which occurred on the 22nd October 1924, in his fifty-third year, following a serious operation.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1901.

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