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British Industrial History

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George Alfred Harvey

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George Alfred Harvey (c1853-1937), founder of G. A. Harvey and Co

1937 Obituary [1]

THE death occurred on Thursday, February 25th from heart failure, of Mr. George Alfred Harvey, founder of the firm of G. A. Harvey and Co. (London ) Ltd., sheet metal and steel plate workers.

Mr Harvey, who was eighty-four years of age, and lived at Preston Park, Brighton, was chairman of the firm, which he founded in 1874 in a small shed at Lewisham, where, with the assistance of one boy, he carried on the business of a zinc worker. From this modest beginning the business grew rapidly, and in 1894 the galvanising and tank-making departments were removed to new premises at Iron Wharf, Greenwich.

Both the Lewisham and Greenwich works wore eventually found to be inadequate, and in 1913 the firm moved to the site of the present works in Woolwich road, which n ow cover 40 acres of ground and employ 2000 hands.

The interest of Mr. Harvey in the welfare of his employees was given expression to by his inauguration of the Harvey Benevolent Fund with a gift of £15,000, and the foundation in 1935 of a Jubilee Trust Fund of £5000 for necessitous cases in respect of junior workers. He also took a great personal interest in the development of a housing estate near the works for the benefit of his employees.

Mr. Harvey was at one time a member of the Lewisham Vestry, and was instrumental in obtaining many reforms in the administration of Poor Law relief. He became a member of the first London County Council, which was constituted in 1888, and it was about this time, also, that he contested the Lewisham parliamentary scat as a Liberal.

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