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British Industrial History

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George Wood (1826-1879)

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George Wood (1826-1879) of the Wardsend Steel Co and of Samuel Osborn and Co

1879 Obituary [1]

Mr. GEORGE WOOD was born at Holmfirth in the year 1826. He was the son of a small farmer at Norton, and he may be said to have been quite a self-made man. He had not the advantage of much school-training when a boy. He was, however, exceedingly industrious, and made the most of his opportunities. Though he had worked for some time at a trade, he abandoned it when he was eighteen years of age, in order that he might enter the service of a land-surveyor. This was much more congenial employment, and afforded him opportunities for self-culture. That these opportunities were not neglected is evident from the fact that he was subsequently able to take the position of bookkeeper at the works of Mr. Samuel Fox at Deepcar, now Samuel Fox & Co., Limited. This was the turning-point in Mr. Wood's career. His close attention to duty and his business habits soon brought him under the favourable notice of Mr. Fox, by whom he was given a position of much trust and responsibility in the works, which he held until 1860.

At that time Mr. Fox was carrying on the Wardsend Steel Works, Sheffield, as well as his works at Deepcar, and Mr. Wood was transferred to Wardsend to undertake the management of the works and business. Some years afterwards Mr. Wood was able to purchase from Mr. Fox the works at Wardsend, and up to his death he carried them on under the style of the Wardsend Steel Company.

Four years ago he became one of the chief partners in the firm of S. Osborn & Co., of the Clyde Steel Works. He was also largely interested in the Kelham Rolling Mills and the Neepsend Rolling Mills, of each of which he was one of the directors.

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