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Frederic Strickland

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Major Frederic Strickland (1868-1934)

1868 Born in Appleton-le-Street, Yorkshire, son of Sir Charles Strickland (occupation: Fox hunting Esquire)[1]

1886 Started work at Simpson and Denison

1887 Became a member of the firm, which changed its name to Simpson, Strickland and Co

1891 Civil engineer, employer; living at Appleton-le-Street[2]

1891 The firm became a private limited company

c.1894 Married Mary

1897 Member of I Mech E; of Simpson, Strickland and Co

c.1900 Left the position of managing director; established his own business at Teddington Strickland and Co

1911 Consulting engineer, living in Appleton with his wife Mary and daughter Elizabeth[3]


1934 Obituary [4]

Major FREDERIC STRICKLAND was a remarkable example of a man whose natural gifts enabled him to devote his career to mechanical engineering, in spite of his never having had the conventional training for the profession.

He was the second son of the late Sir Charles Strickland, and was educated at Eton, after which he travelled round the world. He then worked for a period in Professor Stuart's workshops in Cambridge, and in 1886 he entered Messrs. Simpson and Dennison's works at Dartmouth. Only a few months later he became a partner, the name of the firm being changed to Messrs. Dennison, Strickland and Company (sic). The firm specialized in the building of fast steam launches, the works being, as far as possible, self-contained, and having its own foundry, machine shop, and boiler shop, including hydraulic flanging presses.

Mr. Strickland continued to build wooden launches until about 1900, redesigning the boilers and machinery, and adapting water-tube boilers for his purposes. He did much to advance the design and construction of small high-speed steam machinery, and took a leading part in developing light wooden boat construction in England. A speed of 20 knots was maintained by the Duck, a 30-foot launch with condensing engines built by him - a remarkable performance in those days.

The firm was formed into a limited liability company in 1894, when Mr. Strickland became senior managing director. During the following year he experimented with steam-propelled road vehicles, but about three years later he retired from the management of the firm at Dartmouth and turned his attention to the internal combustion engine, establishing works at Teddington for the building of experimental motor cars. His engines exhibited many features which have since become standard practice.

In addition he wrote an important book, "A Manual of Petrol Motors and Motor Cars," dealing with both the practical and scientific aspects of the subject, and he also contributed many articles on engineering subjects to the technical press.

He enlisted in the Army on the day on which War was declared, and took a convoy of lorries from Kensington Gardens, where they had been impressed, to Southampton. During the War he took a leading part in organizing the Mechanical Transport Department, in which he was appointed one of the chief inspectors. He went to France when the first tanks were sent there, to give technical advice, and on his return he was appointed Senior Technical Officer in charge of the training school at Wool, Dorset. He was demobilized with the rank of major and subsequently lived at Boynton Hall, his family home in Yorkshire, where he died on 12th June 1934, in his sixty-seventh year.

He had been a Member of the Institution since 1897.


1934/35 Obituary [5]

Frederic Strickland was born in 1867 and from 1887 to 1900 was partner and Managing Director of Simpson, Strickland and Co., Ltd., the well-known launch builders of Dartmouth. He was subsequently in practice as a Consulting Engineer for many years, and during the War served as Inspector in the Mechanical Transport, ultimately becoming Chief Inspecting Officer.

He died on 12th June, 1934, at the age of 66.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1909.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Mechanical Engineer Records