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Frederick William Stoker

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Frederick William Stoker (1848-1898)

of Palmer's Shipbuilding and Iron Works, Jarrow.


1898 Obituary [1]

FREDERICK WILLIAM STOKER, son of Rev. F. Stoker, vicar of Pittington near Durham, was born on 12th October 1848 at Pittington, and was educated at the Durham College School up to the age of sixteen, when he was apprenticed in the works of Messrs. Palmer at Jarrow. There he served his time for five years, and afterwards remained for some two years longer, making several trips in the engine room of various of their steamers, and holding the position of engineer draughtsman in the rolling mills department.

About 1870 he became the mechanical engineer to The Moor Iron Works of Messrs. Shaw Johnson and Reay, Stockton-on-Tees, of which he had the entire management, producing at that time from 700 to 800 tons of iron rails per week. Here he designed and erected a complete rolling mill both for rails and for plates, being one of the first to adopt the plan of three-high rolls for rolling long rails of light sections, and larger plates than were then in vogue.

Amongst other improvements ho introduced there a saw of his own invention for cutting blooms of large size, whereby a considerable saving was effected in the cost of manufacture of rails.

Latterly he was also in charge of the engineering department of the firm's three collieries at Whitworth near Spennymoor, Hamsteels near Durham, and Castle Eden, all of which he equipped with a considerable amount of modern machinery of his own design.

In 1882 he returned to Messrs. Palmer's Works, Jarrow, as manager of the rolling mills and steel works department, where again the heavy machinery erected was from his designs.

Leaving Jarrow in April 1887, he became general manager of the Bowling Iron Works near Bradford.

In 1888 he was appointed general manager of the Erith Iron Works of Messrs. Easton and Anderson, and remained there until the spring of 1892, when, after a visit made for his health, he settled in Johannesburg as a consulting engineer, representing this and several other English firms.

There he acquired a large practice, in connection especially with coal mining; at the Cassel Colliery and the Natal Navigation Collieries he greatly increased the mechanical appliances, and also designed and ordered large quantities of other machinery in the Rand district; he was a director of several other concerns.

His death took place at Johannesburg on 22nd January 1898, in the fiftieth year of his age, from a severe attack of dysentery complicated with other maladies.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1875.


1898 Obituary [2]

FREDERICK WILLIAM STOKER died at Johannesburg on January 22, 1898. He was the son of the Rev. F. Stoker, Rector of Pittington, near Durham, and was educated at the Durham College School up to the age of sixteen, when he was apprenticed to Messrs. Palmer & Company's Iron and Shipbuilding Works at Jarrow-on-Tyne. He served an apprenticeship of five years, and remained with them for some two years after finishing his apprenticeship, during which time he made several trips in the engine-room of several of their steamers.

On leaving Messrs. Palmer's Works, he entered the employment of Messrs. Johnson & Reay, of the Moor Ironworks, Stockton-on-Tees, for whom he designed and laid down a complete rolling-mill plant both for rails and plates, being among the first to introduce the system of three-high mills for rolling long rails of light sections, and larger plates than were at that time in vogue. During the latter part of the time that he was in the service of Messrs. Johnson & Reay he was also in charge of the engineering department of their three collieries, Whitworth, Ham Steels, and Castle Eden, in all of which he put down considerable modern machinery, of which the designs and specifications were issued by himself.

After the liquidation of this firm in 1882 he went back to Messrs. Palmers of Jarrow, first as assistant engineer in the engine works, and afterwards as chief engineer of the rolling plant and steel foundry, where again the heavy machinery put down was executed to his design and specification. He remained at Jarrow for about two years, and then was appointed general manager of the Bowling Iron Company's Works at Bradford, where he remained also for some two years, and in 1888 he was appointed general manager of the Erith Works of Messrs. Easton & Anderson, Limited, and remained in that position until the spring of 1892, when he decided, after a visit taken for his health, to settle in Johannesburg as consulting engineer, representing Messrs. Easton & Anderson and Messrs. Willans & Robinson, and other first-class firms.

He remained in Johannesburg in this capacity up to the time of his death, and during that time was the means of very largely increasing the plant and machinery at the Cassell Colliery, to which he was consulting engineer, and also designed and ordered large quantities of other machinery in the Rand District.

He was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1872.


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