Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,784 pages of information and 235,427 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Charles Henry Jordan

From Graces Guide

Charles Henry Jordan (1840-1931)


1931 Obituary[1]

THE LATE MR. CHARLES HENRY JORDAN.

The death on December 15, at the age of 90,..of Mr. Charles Henry Jordan breaks yet another, of the few remaining links between the present, when shipbuilding has ceased on the banks of the Thames, and the middle of last century, when some of the .most famous vessels ever built came from the yards at Millwall and Blackwall. Born in 1840, in November, 1865, he was indentured to J. S. Russell and Company, of Millwall, and during his five, years’ apprenticeship was engaged on the construction and drawings of the famous SS Great Eastern.

Always a clever draughtsman. and. also something of an artist, Jordan later on prepared some’ of the drawings from which the engravings were made for Scott Russell’s fine work, “The Modem System of Naval Architecture for Commerce and War,” 1863.

Leaving Millwall in 1860, Jordan became assistant naval constructor to the Thames Iron Works and Shipbuilding Company at Blackwall, and during the next' eleven years was associated with George Colby Mackrow at a time when warship' construction predominated. To Jordan fell the task of arranging many of the details of the construction of the famous iron armoured frigate Warrior, of 1861, and a few years later he assisted in the construction of the Konig Wilhelm for the Prussian Navy and the well-known British troopship Serapis. During his time at Blackwall the firm also built the screw corvettes Volage and Active, iron vessels sheathed with teak and copper. Soon after the completion of these vessels, Jordan was appointed Surveyor to the Underwriters’ Registry for Iron Vessels, and given charge of their London office and surveying duties in London, on the South Coast, and on the Continent. He was eventually promoted to the position of Assistant Chief Surveyor, and this appointment he held until the amalgamation of the Society in 1885 with Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, in which he received an appointment as Surveyor. In June, 1902, he was promoted to' the position of Principal Surveyor on the Chief Ship Surveyor’s staff, and held that appointment till his retirement in June 30, 1909.

At the age of 21 he became an Associate of the Institution of Naval Architects, and was later made a member. In 1870 he published his Tabulated Weights of Iron and Steel, which has since passed through many editions. In 1877, he was awarded a silver medal and the honorary freedom of the Shipwright’s Company, and of the City of London, for the design and model of an iron sailing ship, and in 1882 published a useful map with notes, of the docks, piers, &c., on the River Thames, which has since been issued in book form. As an artist he was known for his watercolour sketches of H.M.S. Victory, made in 1898, while this vessel was still afloat in Portsmouth Harbour. In 1921, when over 80 years of age, he spent three days in the' Union Dry Docks, Limehouse, taking dimensions of the famous clipper-ship Cutty Sark. From these he constructed drawings of her lines and midship section, and calculated the vessel’s displacement, centre of buoyancy, metacentre, &c. These drawings and paper were given to Lloyd’s Register.


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