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British Industrial History

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Herbert Morris (1864-1931)

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Herbert Morris (d.1931) of Herbert Morris

c1864 Born in Dalston, London

1884 Started in London as a pulley block and crane manufacturer.[1]

1881 Living at Grove House, Merton Road, Wimbledon: John S. C. Morris (age 51 born Camberwell), Publisher. With his wife Caroline Morris (age 41 born Finsbury) and their children John L. Morris (age 19 born Dalston), Landscape Painter(?); Herbert Morris (age 17 born Dalston) Clerk To Publisher; Catherine G. Morris (age 15 born Holloway); Caroline D. Morris (age 12 born Holloway); Stanley Morris (age 10 born Lydemain, Kent); Montague Morris (age 8 born Lydemain, Kent); Stella J. Morris (age 7 born Lydemain, Kent); Cecil Morris (age 4 born Wimbledon); and Valentine G. Morris (age 1 born Wimbledon). Three Servants.[2]

1891 Living at Lansdowne Place, Croydon: Herbert Morris (age 20 born London), Mechanical Engineer. Also a visitor Frank Bastert (age 29 born Germany), Mechanical Engineer and his wife Charlotte Bastert (age 26 born Leeds). Two servants. Also a visitor Harry Barnes (age 14 born Penge]]. [3]

1911 Living at Lub Cloud, Loughborough: Herbert Morris (age 47 born London), Managing Director of Ltd Company. Engineer (Cranes). With his wife (married 19 years) Eva Morris (age 42 born Hastings) and their children Carline Morris (age 18 born Croydon); Freda Morris (age 16 born Blackheath); Herbert Morris (age 13 born Woodford); John Morris (age 11 born Syston); Frank Morris (age 9 born Loughborough); and Dorothy Morris (age 5 born Shepshed). Four servants.[4]

1931 Died at Nice


1931 Obituary [5]

IT is with regret that we have to announce the death of Mr. Herbert Morris, the founder, chairman and managing director of Herbert Morris, Ltd., of Loughborough.

Mr. Morris, who died recently at Nice, was educated at Bedford Grammar School, after leaving which be assisted his father, a distinguished civil servant, in the carrying on of a business directory.

It was in 1884 that he founded the engineering business of Herbert Morris, Ltd., at Loughborough. In the early years of the undertaking he was joined by Mr. Frank Bastert, who retired in 1911.

The business grew from small beginnings to one of the largest in the world devoted exclusively to the manufacture of lifting and conveying machinery. It had subsidiary companies in Canada, France, and America, and agencies in many other countries.

Mr. Morris took no part in public life, and did not associate himself with any scientific societies or technical institutions. Had he not been a man of such a quiet and retiring dispo11ition, there is no doubt that he would have become known as one of the great industrialists of his age. He was closely identified with the developments of his company, both on the technical and commercial sides, and his great intellectual gifts were undoubtedly large factors in advancing the extended use of the many lifting and conveying plants and schemes with which his company was associated.


1931 Obituary[6]

"THE LATE MR. HERBERT MORRIS The losses sustained by the engineering profession by the death of notable members of it, which we have regretfully to record from time to time may he broadly divided into two classes both creative it may be said, and comprising the inventor and the organiser. An outstanding name in the latter roll has been removed by the death, on April 25, of Mr. Herbert Morris, the founder, chairman and managing director of the well-known firm of Messrs. Herbert Morris, Limited, Loughborough.

Born in 1864, the son of a distinguished civil servant, Mr. Morris was educated at Bedford Grammar School, and on leaving there gained an insight into the conditions of industry by assisting his father in the publication of the Business Directory which the latter founded. Attracted, no doubt, by the openings, offered by the adoption of specialisation and standardisation, then not very widely appreciated, Mr. Morris, in 1884, founded the business which hears his name, to manufacture pulley blocks. He was joined later by Mr. Frank Bastert, whose name was incorporated in the firm’s title for some time. Mr. Bastert, however, retired in 1911. Pursuing the policy of identifying the firm with a particular branch of the engineering industry, Mr. Morris confined manufacture to lifting appliances, using this term in its widest sense to include runways, conveyors and crane-work, in which transport is the corollary to lifting. To what extent the business prospered under him it is scarcely necessary to remind engineers, but it may be noted that the finely equipped works which grew out of small beginnings were fully described in a series of articles in these columns of which the first was published in Engineering, vol. cxxiii, page 311 (1927). Mr. Morris was closely associated with both the technical and commercial sides of the organisation he had founded, and his quiet determination contributed, amongst other things, to the standardisation of overhead cranes. His interests were largely confined to his business, and, in consequence, we do not find his name associated with any of the technical institutions, or, indeed, with the public life of his locality, a condition, it may safely be said, due to a retiring disposition and not to any inherent want of ability."


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Nottingham Evening Post - Monday 27 April 1931
  2. 1881 Census
  3. 1891 Census
  4. 1911 Census
  5. The Engineer 1931/05/08
  6. Engineering 1931/05/08