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British Industrial History

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Arthur Wadham

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Arthur Wadham (1852-1923)

son of James Wadham


1923 Obituary [1]

ARTHUR WADHAM was born at Barnstaple on 7th September 1852, and received his education at the Quaker schools of Ackworth and Rawdon.

After gaining varied commercial and engineering experience he became partner in the firm of James Wadham (Sen.) and Co., Darlington, and in 1872 took over the business, continuing it in his own name.

Conceiving the then new idea of issuing from time to time a printed circular giving details of machinery which his firm had to offer, fresh possibilities were suggested, and he brought out in 1879 a monthly trade journal, called Machinery Market. This proved so successful that in 1885 he decided to remove the offices to London, where the Journal, with its "Sales and Wanted Supplement," continued to grow, so that in 1900 the Supplement had to be issued weekly, and nine years later Machinery Market became a weekly production.

Mr. Wadham, realizing that mechanical progress was being impeded by the antiquated Patent Law, commenced an agitation in his Journal in 1879 for the reform of the patent laws and for the cheapening of patents. This eventually had its effect by the passing of the Bill brought in by the late Mr. Joseph Chamberlain when President of the Board of Trade.

Mr. Wadham was a man of versatile genius, being also a water-colour artist of no mean degree. Of late years he had left the management of his Journal to his co-partners, the heads of the various departments, and had gone to live at Scalebeck, near Keswick. Although apparently enjoying good health, he had recently discovered that an operation would be necessary. This was successfully performed at Carlisle, but he succumbed to the shock, passing away on 3rd July 1923, in his seventy-first year.

He became an Associate of this Institution in 1893, and was transferred to Companion in 1922. He was also a Member of the Institute of Journalists.



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